Sunderland fans raved about Gael Andonian; where is he one year on?

31st March 2019, Wembley Stadium, London, England; Checkatrade Trophy Final, Portsmouth versus Sunderland; Sunderland fans celebrate as Aiden McGeady of Sunderland scores in the 38th...

Jack Ross admitted that the Black Cats couldn't afford to keep former Marseille defender Andonian in League One.

Gael Andonian of Armenia in action during the international friendly match between France and Armenia at Allianz Riviera stadium on October 8, 2015 in Nice, France.

Most Sunderland fans never got a chance to fall for the talents of Gael Andonian.

But those who did see the former Marseille defender make a rare appearance in the red and white stripes were left raving about a player who, at the time, looked a potentially inspired addition to Jack Ross’ squad.

12 months ago, Andonian arrived at Sunderland on trial, hoping to earn a contract with the Black Cats. And after a stand-out performance for the U23s against West Bromwich Albion, it seemed only a matter of time before the Armenian international was offered a deal.


So what happened next certainly didn’t go down well. As reported by The Chronicle, manager Jack Ross admitted that the Black Cats couldn’t sign the free agent while they still had Papy Djilobodji and Didier Ndong hoovering up vital funds with their massive wages.

So Ross was denied the chance to work with a player who a certain Marcelo Bielsa expressed ‘respect and admiration’ for during that thrilling 2014/15 season at Marseille (Foot Marseille).

Gael Andonian, Gor Malakyan and Henrikh Mkhitaryan of Armenia in action against Tanat Nuserbayev (L) of Kazakhstan during the FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifying Round football match between...

But where is Andonian now, one year on? Well, he’s one division higher than Sunderland, having ended his long spell without a club by joining Ligue 2 outfit AC Ajaccio in July.

Three months later, however, a prolonged shoulder injury means Andonian is yet to make his Ajaccio debut. He hasn’t played single professional game since he arrived on Wearside a year ago.

Gael Andonian of Marseille and Marko Livaja of Inter Milan battle for the ball during the NextGen Series Semi-Final match between Inter Milan U19 v Marseille U19 at Griffin Park on March...

Have something to tell us about this article?

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch