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Captain's Blog: The Ki Summer Addition That No One Is Talking About...

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Sunderland has been one of the busiest clubs in the transfer market this summer, but has their potentially most important piece of business gone largely unnoticed?

Clive Brunskill

To say it has been a stunningly hectic summer on Roker Report would be a ludicrous understatement. Even since before the last ball of last season had been kicked it feels like we have been sourcing transfer stories and researching footballers we hadn't even heard of the week before.

It has perhaps been a curious quirk, then, that the most important and probably best piece of business Sunderland have done this summer has mostly slipped in beneath the radar - Ki Sung-Yueng.

Okay, so 'signed on loan from Swansea' doesn't really scream glitz, and the fact 24-year-old Korean was announced amid the hustle and bustle of pre-match preparations meant it probably was never going to command much attention.

Still, it has all been remarkably quiet. At the time of writing, there has been nothing in the way of fanfare at all; no interviews, no gallery of pictures. Just a couple of comments from Paolo Di Canio and a solitary tweet from the club's official account containing one photo.

Fans are talking, as we do, but even that has been a little lost in the deadline day furore and outrages of losing the Crystal Palace game and selling Stephane Sessegnon.

What little chatter there has seen appears to be expressing a sense of general indifference, though much of it seems to be based upon myth and general irrelevances.

They say what good is a player to Sunderland when he can't get anywhere near the Swansea team, but Ki started 27 games for the Swans and featured in all but seven of their games last season following his arrival.

They say he has been a flop and his fall down the pecking order at the Liberty Stadium provides evidence of it, yet it is quite widely reported in Korea that he has had a falling out with Michael Laudrup.

They say 'look what happened the last time we signed someone from Swansea' in reference to Danny Graham, but that is just plain silly.

But cut through the myths, indifference, and general bewilderment at the uninspiring start to the season and the truth is that Ki is the kind of player that has been missing from the Sunderland midfield for far too long.

For starters, he can pass a ball. He boasted a 92% success rate last season as well as posting some impressive numbers with regard chance creation.

Statistics, however, will only ever be an aid to debate, nothing more. At the end of the day the only thing we need to know about Ki Sung-Yueng is that he is, quite simply, a quality footballer.

He isn't going to stomp around the pitch flying into tackles and physically imposing himself. He just isn't that kind of player so shouldn't be judged as such. But give him a football at his feet and he'll spot something constructive to do with it.

He is a player who can gather a ball and release it accurately and incisively in the same amount of time that a Seb Larsson or Craig Gardner take to control it.

In a team like Sunderland's where the strength lies in the individual talent of the forward players, someone who can get good possession to them quickly can be a real game-changer.

That may be a lot of pressure. It may be a lot to ask of one player. But as separate departments, Sunderland are generally performing. The goals being conceded are soft set pieces and individual errors - annoying, but far preferable to being repeatedly carved open and played through.

Further forward individuals are impressing, but too often snuffed out by weight of numbers.

All that is really needed is that man between both to knit it all together. To command the ball to help push the defence away from their own box when pressure is building, and provide forwards with good possession in attacking areas quicker than the opposition can get defenders back in defensive positions.

There is no doubt that Ki can be that man. If he will only time will tell, but if he produces what he is capable of, he will unquestionably be the best piece of business Sunderland have done all summer.