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Wijnaldum to Wearside?

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Sunderland are reportedly trying to make a statement in the transfer window, but how fanciful is it in actuality? May be not as much as you're likely to be told.

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The media have stated Sunderland made an £11million bid for PSV Eindhoven midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum. The 24-year-old, who has been capped 19 times for the Netherlands, certainly is an exciting prospect and intriguing link.

Irrespective of whether the World Cup star ends up on Wearside, it's satisfying that Lee Congerton and Ellis Short appear to be issuing a statement of intent by aiming for a player of Wijnaldum's calibre.  Unfortunately for us it's likely we'll simply be the first of many teams expressing an interest in the Dutch ace and you'd anticipate a good number would be better placed to attract a rising star.

However an ace up Sunderland's sleeve comes in the form of head coach Dick Advocaat.  The Little General has previously worked with Wijnaldum and by all accounts may prove a decisive factor when the PSV man is ready to make his decision.

It's interesting to note that many unconnected with our club have been sceptical about the proposed move.  Some have viewed the notion as almost cynical on the part of Wijnaldum. He would potentially be walking away from a top Eredivisie side which can guarantee Champions League football, all for what critics deem to be a financially motivated move.

This all feels a bit of an unnecessary subplot to the main narrative.  In essence any player worth their salt wants to test themselves week in week out at the highest level.  Admittedly Champions League football can offer this but it isn't on a weekly basis.

A footballer's bread and butter is playing in the best leagues in the world and frankly the Eredivisie is not on the same level as the Premier League.  Is it so hard to imagine a player wanting to swap an inferior league for a one superior just for what would potentially be a handful of games in Europe?

Throw into the mix the likely prospect of a significant salary increase should a move to England come to fruition for Wijnaldum and the entire prospect sounds more plausible than some would have you believe.

There are rarely any guarantees in football, certainly less in the transfer window.  We're in the very early stages of what might become a protracted saga but if we liken this to a game of poker, at least we seem to have a better hand this year with Advocaat the potential trump card.