Gus Poyet has hailed the consistency of Ki Sung-Yueng and says "there is a chance" that the on-loan Korean could stay with Sunderland beyond his current loan spell.
Ki has, without question, been the Black Cats' star turn of the season, with Poyet revealing to the Sunderland Echo:
There is a chance [of a permanent transfer].
Swansea had an opportunity to call him back and they didn’t.
I think there are a couple of things we need to make sure: where we are and where we want to go, and with the player as well.
I can see that he’s enjoying his football and making a difference. He’s very happy, it means so much for him to score that goal.
He cares and he’s enjoying his new position a bit further up the pitch and making a difference.
An important point there is the past tense Poyet used when describing Swansea's option to recall Ki. They don't have an opportunity to call him back, they had one.
I think anyone who saw the player's reaction having scored at Fulham will attest to how much he is loving playing for the club right now. He ran the length of the pitch to get to the traveling support and once there seemed to pretty clearly gesture that he wanted to stay.
A big part of that will be down to the belief Poyet is showing in him. Ki is the fulcrum of the Sunderland side and he is reveling in the responsibility. Come the summer, he may have better offers from bigger clubs, but a lot can be said of the appeal of signing for a coach you know you'll love working with.
And, whether it is to Sunderland or anywhere else, we can probably expect Ki to leave Swansea this summer. When he returns to the Liberty Stadium he will have just one year left on his contract and the fact Michael Laudrup hasn't recalled him despite his form and their injuries tells you everything you need to know about their relationship.
As for Ki's recent form, Poyet couldn't be happier.
I want players with that mentality, to make us play, and he’s been excellent. He’s been the most consistent player for me, in my way of playing.
I really don't think you'll find many arguing with that. Let's hope that we are watching Ki in a Sunderland shirt for a very long time to come.