Denayer Back To Turkey In January?
The Evening Chronicle, amongst others, have claimed Turkish giants, Galatasaray, are looking at the possibility of taking Jason Denayer back to the club in January.
The Chron claim this rumour is "according to reports in Turkey".
What reporter Craig Johns is most likely quoting, is the results of a poll published this week in which Galatasaray supporters voted that they would like Denayer to return to the club, and various other fan-sites who were arguing that they would fancy taking the 21-year old back a few weeks ago.
Considering Pep Guardiola was supposedly adamant that the Belgian defender would not be loaned to Turkey in the summer, an about-turn mid-way through his agreement with Sunderland would be odd; but for what it's worth - 88% of Galatasaray fans polled indicated that they would like Denayer back in Istanbul. Over 6,000 people cast a vote.
Denayer has started three games for Sunderland this season, all at full-back which isn't his natural position; and he was out for a month through injury. There was some suggestion a few weeks ago that the player was unhappy with how things had started at the Stadium of Light, but that was before the last international break during which he picked up that adductor strain which had him sidelined for three games.
The Manchester City man was introduced for the last 18 minutes on Saturday at Bournemouth, replacing Paddy McNair to add some steel to protect Sunderland's slender lead; and in truth, he put himself about and did exactly what was asked of him.
Jason Denayer looks a good footballer and the challenge for David Moyes is finding a way to utilise him effectively.
Advocaat Was Quoted £9m For Lens
Dick Advocaat, the former Sunderland boss moved quickly to sign Jeremain Lens once he was named Fenerbahçe manager in the summer.
Advocaat was unveiled at the Turkish Super League team on 27th August and within three days he had snapped up the Dutch winger on loan.
We reported the news first on Monday that Jeremain Lens has publicly stated he has no desire to return to Sunderland. With the hierarchy at the Stadium of Light now no doubt keen to recoup some cash at the end of Lens’ current loan spell, the player may be for sale to the highest bidder.
According to 'reports in Turkey', when Advocaat initially enquired about a permanent transfer, Sunderland told him they wanted their money back. The 69-year old veteran coach originally paid £9m for Lens when he brought him to the Stadium of Light from Dynamo Kiev in 2015, so Sunderland put an equivalent price of 37 million Turkish Lira on the Dutchman.
Fenerbahçe initially balked at that figure, but since then Lens has impressed with two goals and five assists so far this season and made headlines across Europe for his performance against Manchester United last week.
With two years still to run on the contract he signed when he arrived on Wearside, once his initial loan spell in Turkey expires Lens' value will likely remain relatively static should he continue to impress at Fenerbahçe. Recouping £9m would be good news for the Sunderland accounts and a rare example of a player signed by a previous manager holding his value.
In truth, Sunderland were perhaps the victims of the clamour for all things Dutch following the Netherlands' success at the 2014 World Cup. Louis van Gaal guided his country to the semi-final of the tournament and gained universal acclaim for his achievement with an unfancied team.
But, in the wake of that success, several key figures struggled to live up to their billing. Van Gaal lasted two seasons at Manchester United; and despite an FA Cup win, he could not satisfy the media, or the board and fans at Old Trafford, that he was the one to continue Alex Ferguson's legacy - a feat that our own David Moyes and now, the special one, Jose Mourinho have also struggled with.
Jeremain Lens joins veterans of that World Cup campaign, Daryl Janmaat, Georginio Wijnaldum and Memphis Depay to name but three, as those who have endured a disappointing time since the heady days of 2014.
Meanwhile In Gabon
Didier Ndong has been afforded a day off from training with the Gabonese national team to visit his family.
Here he is celebrating Saturday's win on twitter: