Sunderland tend not to turn loan deals into permanent ones, usually because the player is tosh or they play their way into the first team of their parent club via us. In fact, other than Ahmed Elmohammady, I am struggling to think of any players since our arrival back in the Premier League who have had their loan deal made permanent. Help me out if you can think of any!
It is a case of what could have been for us regarding some loanees with the likes of Jonny Evans, Danny Welbeck and most recently Danny Rose impressing hugely on Wearside yet going on to star for their more illustrious parent clubs. I think it is pretty clear we didn’t have a chance to sign Evans or Welbeck from Manchester United given Sir Alex Ferguson’s admiration and rightly so – they have both gone on to play many games for United and win some trophies along the way.
I can’t say the same for Rose, that pill was particularly bitter to swallow. Rose was obviously unsettled at Tottenham and consistently expressed his willingness to permanently sign for us. To be fair, it seems Spurs did little to let him believe he was part of their long term plans, and perhaps he wasn’t, until he impressed enormously last year. Devastating.
So if Ki continues to impress in central midfield for us – what are our chances of making the signing permanent? Should we prepare ourselves for yet more heartbreak? Well, let’s put it this way – we have a much better chance of signing Ki than we ever did of signing Rose.
Even if Spurs were willing to offload the left back to us, there is no doubt he would have commanded a massively inflated price given his nationality as much as (if not more than) his ability and performances. Then you consider our summer’s transfer activities and in particularly our unwillingness to match Hull City’s offer for Tom Huddlestone you may be wondering if we were even in the position to successfully negotiate Rose’s transfer to Wearside. If you are wondering, we were not, basically. If Ki continues his excellent performances, logic indicates he will cost more – but it is unlikely to have as big an impact as you may expect.
Ki signed a three year deal with Swansea last summer after arriving from Celtic, so by the time it comes to negotiations next summer he will be in the last year of his contract. That is significant as, should Ki want to move to Sunderland, the Swans won’t be in a brilliant position to be demanding high transfer fees. He cost the Welsh outfit £6 million and I would not expect us to have to pay more than that to obtain his services on a permanent basis.
Poyet’s interest is logical, we all know his strengths and it’s those strengths that fit in perfectly with what we need. Composed on the ball, superb range of passing and excellent balance, the latter which often makes up for his lack of pace. His only real weaknesses lie in defence, his tackling is suspect and we have already witnessed lapses in concentration when it comes to marking. Still, for the money we would need to shell out for him – he would be an excellent purchase. That is without mentioning his value to the club’s stature in South Korea, where he is held in very high regard indeed and arguably the most popular national team player amongst fans. He will be just 25 next year too.
All in all, we have a very good chance of making this loan deal permanent and it would be a very good move to do so. My only concern would be if Swansea took advantage of the midseason recall clause in his loan contract, give him game time and convinced him to sign a new deal. Seems unlikely mind.