New Sunderland Signings Aiming to Prove Doubters Wrong

SUNDERLAND, ENGLAND - AUGUST 21: Adnan Januzaj of Sunderland during the Premier League match between Sunderland and Middlesbrough at Stadium of Light on August 21, 2016 in Sunderland, England. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)

Sunderland manager David Moyes had a somewhat short and frustrating transfer window. Having got the job after Sam Allardyce left for England, Moyes had only a few weeks to strengthen the squad.

Even though the Black Cats missed out on several targets, nine players were brought in. Some of these players have a point to prove after either less than impressive spells elsewhere in the Premier League, or where their career has unfortunately stood still. Four new Sunderland signings in particular will be looking to prove that they still have plenty to offer.

New Sunderland Signings Aiming to Prove Doubters Wrong

Victor Anichebe

The powerful forward is now back with the manager who gave him his debut at Everton back in 2006. After showing promising signs early in his career at Everton, various frustrating injuries, one that had him on the sidelines for 11 months, kept interrupting his progress. His best season on Merseyside came in the 2012-13 season where playing as the main striker, he scored eight goals.

A £6 million move to West Bromwich Albion followed, but he found form and goals hard to come by. Injuries were still proving to be a problem and he was in and out of the side. At the end of last season it was announced that the Baggies would release him.

If David Moyes can get Anichebe fit and motivated he could be a good signing for the Black Cats. Although he is certainly not an out-an-out striker who will regularly score goals, he will cause defenders problems and give the likes of Jermain Defoe space to do the job of scoring.

Is this his last chance to prove himself at the top level of English football? After his injuries and disappointing spell at West Brom, the answer has to be yes. However, if there is one manager who can get the best out of Victor Anichebe, it’s David Moyes.

Javier Manquillo

Spanish full-back Manquillo, who has been capped at every international level apart from senior, has plenty to prove after a disappointing spell at Liverpool two years ago. He signed a two-year loan deal with The Reds, but after just one season and 19 appearances, Liverpool decided to cut his loan spell short.

He returned to Atlético Madrid who immediately loaned him back out, this time to French side Marseille. His time in the South of France proved to be more successful. He played a total of 42 games and gained some much-needed experience at a high level, something he failed to get on Merseyside.

He has joined Sunderland initially on a one-year loan deal, but being surplus to requirements at Atlético, there is an option to buy. The 22-year-old impressed on his debut, defending well and getting forward when the chance came. He has stated he is now a more mature player than the last time he played in England and he is out to impress at his new club. He is young and seems eager to impress and ensure his stay on Wearside lasts longer than his current loan deal.

Papy Djilobodji

Senegalese defender El Hadji Papy Mison Djilobodji was Moyes’s first signing this summer. He signed for £8 million after completing just one minute for Chelsea. He signed for the Blues from FC Nantes for around £2.7 million just one year ago.

After starring for Nantes over 180 times, scoring nine goals, the 6ft 4in defender began catching the eye of Premier League clubs. Chelsea came calling and he signed in the summer of 2015. However, soon after signing, he was left out of The Blues’ Champions League squad. The only game time he received in the coming months was that one minute substitute appearance in the League Cup.

In January of this year, Djiloboji was loaned out to German side Werder Bremen. He made 16 appearances, scoring two goals, one of which was a late winner to save the club from relegation. After impressing at Bremen and being surplus to requirements at Chelsea, the Black Cats pounced.

At Chelsea, he wasn’t given a fair chance. He has proved he can perform in France and Germany but now is his chance to play and show Chelsea that they made a mistake in not playing him when they had him. Chelsea’s loss could be Sunderland’s gain.

Adnan Januzaj

Another player who has come to Sunderland to be reunited with his former manager, the Belgian international winger/forward burst onto the scene for Manchester United in 2013 under Moyes. He produced some excellent performances and goals. He was even nominated for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award.

The start of the following season looked like it would be a bright one. He was given the number 11 shirt previously worn by United legend Ryan Giggs. However, under new manager Louis van Gaal, the youngster struggled for form and failed to hit the net all season.

The 2015-16 season fared little better at United, although he did score his first goal in over a year. At the end of August he was loaned out to German giants Borussia Dortmund. The loan was to last until the end of the season, but United recalled him in January of this year.

Reports during the summer suggested that Januzaj wished to leave on a permanent basis. New manager José Mourinho was only interested in a loan move due to the forward still being young and he could still prove to be an excellent addition to the squad in the future.

On 12th August, the 21-year-old agreed to join the Black Cats on a season-long loan deal. He links up with the man who has undoubtedly got the best out of him so far in his short career. He has impressed during his performances so far and will be hoping to prove he was no one-season wonder kid.

If he wishes to leave United and link up with Moyes again permanently, then he is doing all the right things too. Sunderland fans already have a new song about him based on the Stone Roses song “Made of Stone”. United will also be keeping a close eye on his performances too. Good performances and experience mean a better player for their squad or indeed extra millions on the price tag should the cash in.

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