According to various reports, Alfred N'Diaye is set to wing his way back to the North East of England mid way through his loan spell at Eskişehirspor. It was a bit of a surprise when the Senegalese international left the club in the summer. He'd probably been one of our more consistent performers at the back end of last season. He was easily the best of the January bunch too. Less said about that the better, though.
But will he back at Sunderland for any amount of time? Probably not. Four days at best if you believe the current reports doing the rounds. Alfie is attracting interest from Real Betis, and if they can thrash out the details before the end of the transfer window then that appears to be his most likely destination.
Although the Betis deal appeared to have hit the rocks a few days back, it could be back on. This is despite interest from various Italian clubs, according to his agent.
So, what next for the affectionately known 'Big Alf' if the deal falls through? Gus Poyet had toyed with the idea of recalling him, but it appeared he all but abandoned that. That seems logical considering our strong links with moves for Liam Bridcutt and Ever Banega. It would be interesting to see if Gus would utilise him if he fails to move on again before the January window closes.
Would it cause a rethink for Poyet? Would he see other midfield players as more disposable than Alf after he had a look at him. He certainly offers a more different option in the middle of the park. Sebastian Larsson and Craig Gardner are both nearing the end of their contracts. Lee Cattermole has also been linked with a move away. If an offer came in for either of them, it would be interesting to see whether he'd take a chance on N'Diaye and release one of those players.
Personally, I think he's a decent player who could offer a different, solid option in the middle of the park. If he's coming back to the club, and he ends up missing out on a move, then he's definitely worth utilising. It could be, in my opinion, a blessing in disguise.