The Sunderland stays of Valentin Roberge and Mobido Diakite could be short-lived ones, with Gus Poyet confirming both could leave the club this month.
The Black Cats added Santiago Vergini to their defensive ranks this week and, although the Argentinian is yet to feature, Poyet's protracted pursuit tends to suggest he is a player who he regards very highly. He also stepped straight onto the bench for the league cup semi final.
That has pushed Roberge and Diakite further down the pecking order, and Carlos Cuellar is also due back to fitness soon swelling the numbers further.
Poyet told the Shields Gazette:
They know where they are [in his order of preference].
A player normally wants to play, and when they are not, they’re always looking for options.
But it’s a possibility, especially for Diakite.
Valentin Roberge I would consider a very handy player to keep around. He is comfortable on the ball and a good fit with what Poyet wants to do. The fact he is left-footed is also an advantage. Given a little time, I still think he can be very good in the Premier League.
Diakite seems less of a loss, though, and by that I mean no loss at all. He looks ideally suited to the English game, physically, but you just don't see him ever forcing his way past those already in front of him. Sure there will be a couple of takers for him back in Serie A.
There is a real sense of Poyet putting his stamp on the squad now. We know the players he likes. We know know the kind of football he wants. Full steam ahead!