Sam Allardyce To Repeat His January Defensive Prop-Up Routine?
Former Sunderland boss, Sam Allardyce, is set to raid his former club for defensive reinforcements in the January window as his Crystal Palace honeymoon comes crashing down in a rear-guard collapse, according to the Daily Mail.
Big Sam is being linked with a move to take Patrick van Aanholt and Lamine Kone to Selhurst Park. The Sunderland left-back and centre-half have supposedly been identified by Allardyce as a quick-fix to his problems at Palace.
The interest in Lamine Kone is an obvious one. The Ivorian was signed by Allardyce last January and he quickly turned in some solid performances at the heart of Sunderland's survival defence. But selling your best players to a relegation rival is a model for - well, relegation - especially letting them go to a club managed by the survival specialist who left you for 'better things' not six months ago.
And Crystal Palace have been linked with van Aanholt for some time. Alan Pardew was said to be keen on the Dutchman last summer and was rumoured to be set to make a move for the 26-year-old before he got the boot just before Christmas.
And with the Eagles having suffered the loss of Pape Souare since he was badly hurt in a car crash last September, Allardyce will be looking to bring in a left-back in January. Palace are also being linked with one-time Sunderland supposed target, Robbie Brady, and Southampton defender Jose Fonte who has handed in a transfer request at St Mary's.
Patrick van Aanholt played the best football of his career under Allardyce at Sunderland and credited the former-England boss as being the most influential manager he had worked with since his days as a youngster in Holland. Big Sam found a way of getting the best out of a fullback who many suggested was (and still can be) unable to defend. In fact, it was 'PVA' whose mistakes directly led to two of Crystal Palace's goals when they visited the Stadium of Light in September and ran away with a 3-2 victory.
The Dutchman enjoys a privileged existence at the Stadium of Light as the only senior specialist left-back at the club and is a consistent attacking threat - weighing in with a handful of goals each season. Van Aanholt was on the fringes of the Netherlands squad until recent months but his down-turn in form, during the early part of the season, has seen him overlooked for World Cup qualifiers.
David Moyes would likely need a replacement lined up before he would entertain bids for the 26-year-old. Van Aanholt is under contract at Sunderland to 2020 having signed a lengthy extension in the summer. As a result, he could fetch up to £5m.
How About a Japanese Serie A Import As a Replacement? But Bournemouth 'Link' Looks Dubious
And on that note, a transfer link mooted in Italy catches our attention. There is one minor flaw with it, but hear us out.
A few outlets, including this one, have suggested Internazionale's Japanese full-back, Yuto Nagatomo, may be interesting David Moyes. The origin of the rumour is Italian daily sports newspaper, Corriere dello Sport.
Yes, that's Inter Milan's left back - the club we're currently locked in a court battle with. But, in the world of big bucks transfer deals, perhaps even the two clubs who have a little 'history' between them are capable of pursuing new business - via some carefully chosen intermediaries no doubt.
Nagatomo's best days are probably behind him. At 30-years-old he has been with Inter for five years, making nigh-on 150 appearances. He was a seriously hot prospect when he arrived in Italy and he has served the Black-and-Blues of Milan well in his time there.
But, his number has been up for a little while with Inter suffering their own financial troubles and looking to trim a bloated squad. After they failed to flog Davide Santon to us, Watford and West Brom last year, F.C. Internazionale Milano may be keen to shift his fellow full-back Nagatomo in this window.
The 23-year-old has barely had a kick at the Vitality Stadium in the last 12 months after recovering from a lengthy injury and may be looking to kick start what was a promising career before his lay-off.
But, both of the sources named above have one fundamental flaw - they both claim the Daily Telegraph are the outlet behind the rumour. And indeed they would be correct. However, the original article is this one which names twenty Premier League players who may be looking for a move this January, and then names three clubs who might like to consider each individual. Ipswich, Sunderland are Hull are the teams chosen by the Telegraph as the ones to be recommended to take a look at Mings. Someone get David Moyes on the line.