Sunderland fans probably will not want reminding of all the disastrous, and expensive, recruitment decisions that have contributed heavily to the club’s current position at the bottom of England’s second tier.
But the failure to make Yann M’Vila’s loan move from Rubin Kazan permanent, and then splurge a club-record £13.6 million on Didier Ndong, surely goes down as one of the worst pieces of business in Sunderland’s recent history.
M’Vila was arguably the Black Cats’ standout performer as they avoided relegation by the skin of their teeth in the 2015/16 season. And, according to the Chronicle, the French midfielder was keen to stay on Wearside.
Sunderland, however, bungled what would have been a brilliant deal. The report adds that they were unwilling to pay a cut-price fee for a player who was set to become a free agent in just a few months.
And, to make matters worse, they then went out and bought Ndong from Lorient. Yet to be seen during a loan spell at Watford after Sunderland failed to find a buyer in the January transfer window, it does not take a genius to work out who would have been the better signing.
And footage of M’Vila’s fabulous midfield performance for St Etienne in Ligue 1 has only rubbed salt into the wounds of a fan base who became disillusioned beyond repair a long time ago.
Oh the luxury of having someone that can play football. Whats worse is the lad we replaced him with pic.twitter.com/BNorxlLh2N— Sam (@SR19__) March 13, 2018
I dont think it will ever be broken either. Could have had an absolute baller for 8 million but we didnt want to pay cos of his contract so we bought someone worse and not as committed for £14 million— Sam (@SR19__) March 13, 2018
As a Sunderland fan this makes me sad— Daniel Jenks (@DanielJenks89) March 13, 2018
Sadly, a case of what could have been for us.... SAFC couldn’t (or more succinctly, wouldn’t) pay the upfront fee to Rubin Kazan but could pay Ndong fee in small instalments. As ever, total short-sightedness. M’Vila probably the best midfielder I’ve seen in a Sunderland shirt.— Neil (@thewhitecafu) March 13, 2018
Broke my heart when it came out that we weren’t signing him— Dan (@Blackie081294) March 13, 2018