Dropped Manquillo's Contract Details
Javier Manquillo, on loan at Sunderland, received a boost last week with his inclusion in the Spanish Under-21 side. The right-back was called up to replace Arsenal's Hector Bellerin who withdrew through injury.
As it panned out, Manquillo got no minutes under his belt as an unused substitute against Austria, but the nod will have given the Spaniard a boost having been dropped by David Moyes for Sunderland's last two games.
Meanwhile, Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo, clearly oblivious to the struggles that the 22-year old has endured since his summer arrival, have reported on the "favourable experience" that Manquillo is enjoying in the Premier League.
In an article entitled "Manquillo's Good Season", the Barcelona-based daily sports newspaper reveals that should the player, who can play at either left or right back, make 25 appearances this season, then Sunderland are obliged to purchase him for 11 million euros.
So far, Manquillo has made seven full appearances under David Moyes and in truth has yet to make an impact.
Dick Advocaat Slams Sunderland's Unwillingness To Spend
The Daily Mail have featured quotes from former Sunderland boss, Dick Advocaat, in which he again criticises the spending policy at his former club and suggests it may be better if the side he saved from the drop in 2015 are finally relegated.
The 69-year old, who walked out on Sunderland after eight games last season said:
You can only define Sunderland's problems if they spend the same as other clubs do and they don't do that
You can't do that every season. Maybe it's better to go down, to build a new team like Newcastle and they have a great club, a great fanbase, a great stadium.
You cannot go on this way because other clubs, they invest, they spend and if you don't do it, there's too much quality there elsewhere.
It's most likely that these words were uttered a few weeks ago as the English media had a flutter of reignited interest in Dick Advocaat when his Fenerbahçe side beat Manchester United in the Europa League. The Daily Mail have likely saved them for a take-a-pop-at-Sunderland piece during the vacuum caused by the international break.
Yet Advocaat's summation has some element of resonance within it. This isn't the first time the veteran coach has hinted that he wasn't given as much money to spend as he had expected, and a lack of investment is arguably a fundamental reason for the perpetual crisis at Sunderland.
But what this sort of line, picked up as a soundbite by the media, only serves to achieve is to make the problems at the Stadium of Light appear one-dimensional when the issues go way deeper than just the level of funds available.
The manner in which the club, which is consistently in the top-10 spenders, actually splashes the cash is the bigger issue, as is the apparent ineptitude of successive managers in recruiting decent players. Sunderland do generally invest cash - it's just usually spent badly. And the soundbite hides the second, third and fourth dimensions behind the problems at our club from a national press too lazy to find them.
If Advocaat is intent on exposing the story behind his frustration at Sunderland, he would do well to be a little less shallow in his analysis.
Worst Signings of The Season So Far
As if to fully disprove Dick Advocaat's theory, the Telegraph named their ten worst signings of the season the other day and Sunderland have £22m worth of summer business within it; though technically they avoided use of the word 'sh!t' by giving this list the catchy title of:
Papy Djilobodji makes number 5 with:
The central defender has had a troubled few months at Sunderland since his £8m arrival from Chelsea. His cause hasn't been helped by the injuries and changes in personnel around him, but Djilobodji has often struggled to make sure the basics are done right - something which has been Sunderland's downfall this season.
And Didier Ndong makes number 2 with this stinging rebuke:
The 22-year-old midfielder became the club's record signing when he joined in a £13.6m summer move from Lorient. But the Gabon international has not recovered from a series of below-par performances at the Stadium of Light and already looks overpriced.
Moussa Sissoko takes top spot. The former Newcastle player, signed by Tottenham for £30m, saves Sunderland blushes.
With both Djilobodji and Ndong turning out their best performances of the season at Bournemouth last weekend, perhaps both have finally settled into the Premier League.
Regardless, with decent money spent on the pair, their inclusion in such a list is a timely rebuke for Dick Advocaat's claims that Sunderland's problems stem solely from the amount, or lack, of funds invested in the squad.