Is Jan Kirchhoff's Sunderland Career Set to Expire?








One of the bigger names to have their contracts expire in the summer is Jan Kirchhoff. The German made a huge impact under Sam Allardyce on our mission for survival, but the 2016/17 campaign has been a disaster.



Kirchhoff's pre-season was hampered by a hamstring injury which reoccurred in October just a month after he returned to some degree of fitness. Now, the former Bayern Munich man finds himself side-lined once again with a knee cartilage injury. He is not expected to return until mid-March and given his general lack of fitness, few would be surprised if his return to the first team is delayed until April. If that is to be true, and assuming that Kirchhoff remained fit until the season's conclusion, he would have only spent a third of the year available to David Moyes.

Our readers haven't exactly been drawn in by Kirchhoff's performances where he has been fit either. The towering beaut has made seven appearances this season, two from the bench and Sunderland have only mustered a solitary point in the five games he started. Our only victory with Kirchhoff involved was against Leicester, the German was introduced as a second half substitute during that match. Here are the average ratings Kirchhoff has earned from your votes;

5.98 vs Spurs away (1-0 defeat)
6.37 vs Everton home (3-0 defeat) 2nd place
5.16 vs Palace home (3-2 defeat)
5.45 vs WBA home (1-1)
7.27 vs Leicester (2-1 win) came off the bench
4.98 vs Swansea away (3-0 defeat) came off the bench
5.32 vs Chelsea home (1-0 defeat)

This is in stark contrast to the majority of our survival run in last year where Kirchhoff regularly topped our Player Ratings polls. In fact, despite only arriving in January, no Sunderland player earned more WAW Man of the Match awards from your votes than Kirchhoff. This season, he has only managed to reach the average rating of 6 twice.

There are other contributing factors than Kirchhoff's own personal performances, the most obvious of which being how poor Sunderland have generally been this season. Regardless of how unconvincing the above statistics are regarding the German, he is clearly one of the more talented players in our squad.

£30k a week, which is apparently his weekly wage, probably sounds like a lot of money to you or me. However, apparently it is less than the likes of Billy Jones so comparatively Kirchhoff is not one of Sunderland's highest earners. For a club in as much financial plight as we reportedly are, can we even afford to take risks on £30k a week midfields who would struggle to be available most of the year?

Kirchhoff's injury problems pre-date Sunderland. However, we have already seen how good he can be. That alone should be enough to convince David Moyes he is worth at least a year extension onto his current deal. That is if we manage to stay up, because having a predominantly injured player on £30k a week the Championship doesn't sound like a viable option.

Would you offer Kirchhoff a new deal? Vote below!

Would you offer Jan Kirchhoff a new deal?
Yes
No
Yes, but only short term
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