The influx of Manchester United links was to be expected, particularly Fellani and Januzaj, but few counted on ex-Everton names cropping up.Thinking of the names that made Moyes such a hit at Goodison throws up Tim Howard, Tim Cahill and Steven Pienaar.
While it still feels like yesterday, Moyes left Merseyside to replace Sir Alex Ferguson three years ago, with many of his former troops aging and leaving the Premier League.
Yet that hasn’t stopped 34-year-old Pienaar linking up with the Sunderland squad this week for the latter stages of pre-season.
Moyes first signed Pienaar from Friday’s opponents Borussia Dortmund for £2million in 2007, before bringing him back to the club from Tottenham in 2012 for £4.5million. The winger was released this summer after his contract expired, having made 13 Premier League appearances in the past two seasons.
Importantly, Sunderland haven’t signed the South African at this stage, nor is there any guarantee he’ll be pictured holding the red and white stripes outside the Academy anytime in the near future.
It’s also worth considering the impact his presence will have on Charles N’Zogbia. Fans were similarly disappointed with the former Villa winger linking up with Sunderland this pre-season, but he has earned plaudits for his performances.
Whether that is enough to earn him a move, particularly with question marks over his form in the Premier League, is another matter entirely, but the opposition to that would be considerably muted now.
Pienaar may well be the same, although with Sunderland facing one final pre-season outing, his involvement is likely to be limited to the turf at the Academy of Light.
The South African’s arrival would hint that N’Zogbia isn’t going to be sticking around, although it may well just be nothing more than a favour from his old boss.He had been linked with a move to South African side Orlando Pirates earlier in the window.
Pienaar does, however, have the ‘Premier League experience’ tag Moyes is so keen to bring to the club.At 34, and having made minimal impact in the league since his move to Tottenham in 2011, Pienaar will be far from first choice on anyone’s list, despite the ever-growing panic over a lack of new faces.
At this stage, nevertheless, it’s all much ado about nothing.