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Can Callum McManaman play wing back? Will he be a success? Q&A with a WBA fan

You’ve all heard of Callum McManaman, but how much do you know about him? To help us work out what we can expect, we caught up with West Brom fan Mark Thomas - and he had plenty to say about Sunderland’s latest signing.

Manchester City v Wigan Athletic - FA Cup Final Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

RR: What would you say were McManaman's biggest strengths are as a player?

MT: His two main strengths are undoubtedly his pace and skill. He is what most people would class as an old fashioned winger.

RR: Following on from that, are they any potential weaknesses we should be worried about?

MT: I think the defensive side of his game wasn't good enough for Tony Pulis. With the way the Baggies play it's vital our wide men can get up and down the pitch and contribute at both ends. There was also a well publicised diving incident that didn't particularly please Pulis and I have to say it wasn't an isolated one.

Walsall v West Bromwich Albion - Pre Season Friendly Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

RR: I know he struggled with injuries during his time at Albion but was there anyone/anything else that kept him out of the team?

MT: There were rumours that he didn't train well and I think once you get on the wrong side of Tony Pulis you can forget about it.

RR: It's been mooted that McManaman could potentially be used as a wing back on Wearside. Did he ever feature there for Albion or did you see anything from him that would suggest he'd work there?

MT: I honestly can't see that in a million years. As I mentioned previously the defensive side of his game would need a heck of a lot of work. He's also not the biggest of players so I'm not sure how he would cope with the physicality of his defensive duties.

RR: Simon Grayson has signed a lot of hard working types, as Sunderland are trying to create a positive atmosphere involving players who are proud to represent the club. Does McManaman have the right kind of attitude to fit in with this?

MT: I think the one thing McManaman will give you is 100% effort on the pitch. His attitude off the pitch I'm not so sure about. There's clearly reasons why he hardly played for us or Sheffield Wednesday, for whom he spent part of last season on loan.

RR: To round this up, do you think Sunderland have got themselves a good deal here? Especially with it being a free transfer!

MT: To be fair, despite not featuring too often for Albion, McManaman was a fairly popular figure among the Baggies support of whom most thought he was treated somewhat unfairly by Pulis.

He can cause opposition defences problems, and he is the sort of player that will get fans out of their seats on a regular basis. If he can sort out whatever problems held him back at The Hawthorns and Hillsborough then you will definitely have bagged a bargain.

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