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Wahbi Khazri - is he going, and will we see his like again?

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Wahbi Khazri - a talent wasted or a mere pawn in the game of raising cash? The Tunisian international is rumoured to be spending his day on Wearside.

Sunderland v Manchester United - Premier League Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Wahbi Khazri is being linked with a deadline day move away from Sunderland. So have we reached the point where talent is not welcome here?

Sunderland v Chelsea - Premier League Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Fresh from a decent showing at the African Cup of Nations, albeit a tournament in which the Sunderland midfielder closed his international account with a banked question-mark over his attitude, Wahbi Khazri is a talent who doesn't seem to fit on the banks of the Wear.

He's just 25-years-old but his face doesn't seem to fit at Sunderland. Signed by Sam Allardyce just a year ago, the former Bordeaux star of French football may be on the move today. Have we seen the back of the man who has only managed twelve months in a red-and-white shirt?

Wahbi Khazri was one of the first names on the team sheet in the latter portion of the season just gone and his hard-working performances - not to mention some great goals - endeared him to a Stadium of Light faithful who have seen mercurial talent wasted in recent years.

When you're in a perpetual relegation fight, with a manager semi-freshly installed who has always valued endeavour over the prospect of a little flair, does Wahbi Khazri represent a fading battle for hearts and minds on Wearside?

For a side who can't score goals unless Jermain Defoe is on the end of a half-chance, a winger who proved he could weigh-in when required should ordinarily have been gold dust, but Khazri has spent this season on the bench and his Sunderland career looks to be all but over before it really got going.

Barring his African adventure, most Sunderland fans figured they had waved goodbye to the Corsican-born attacking midfielder when he took the field for eleven minutes against Liverpool at the Stadium of Light at the beginning of this month. Off he trotted to Gabon, billed as Tunisia's great hope for the African tournament of talent.

In the end he lit up the Cup of Nations, but his wastefulness in possession coupled with some petulance hinted at David Moyes inherent problem with the footballer who has always played like he believed his talent on this earth should be demonstrated sparingly.

Should Khazri leave these shores this evening, he will do so with the blessing of Sunderland supporters. Mackems devoid of much to cheer will always be grateful to the shiny-bonced possessor of a sweet foot. His goals against Manchester United and Everton will resound in folk-lore as he was about 20% responsible for inadvertently relegating Newcastle United and keeping us up.

Khazri is strongly rumoured to be on his way to Spain. Real Betis and Celta Vigo in the hunt for an enlivener who can bring joy to Spanish hearts. He will leave behind a Sunderland side who crave performances like that Saturday against Manchester United and that evening when the Stadium of Light crackled with the Roker Roar.

If he in fact doesn't leave from Newcastle airport tonight, most of us will probably sink an extra pint and hope that the Tunisian star proves David Moyes wrong.