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Sunderland linked with winger David Cotterill; Birmingham fans fear he’ll return to haunt them

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David Cotterill is the latest right winger to be linked with a move to Sunderland. Recently released by relegation rival Birmingham, would the free-agent offer something to Chris Coleman’s side?

2017 EFL Championship Football Birmingham v Bolton Aug 15th Photo by Steve Feeney/Action Plus via Getty Images

Sunderland have been linked with a move for Welsh winger David Cotterill as Chris Coleman attempts to bolster his relegation-threatened side on a tight budget.

The 30-year-old was released by Birmingham City last month with the Blues said to be keen on rehashing a squad which is performing equally as poorly as the Black Cats. The pair of clubs make up the bottom two of the Championship and January will prove a crucial month for both.

Cotterill has played 270 games in this division with another 100-odd to show for spells in League One. The Cardiff-born wide-man began his career at Bristol City and has turned out for Wigan in the Premier League as well as stints at the likes of Sheffield United, Swansea, Barnsley and Doncaster.

Russia v Wales - Group B: UEFA Euro 2016
Cotterill and Gareth Bale celebrate Wales win against Russia at Euro 2016
Photo by Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images

With two dozen caps for the Welsh national side, Cotterill is well known to Sunderland boss Chris Coleman; but is he really what this Black Cats squad needs right now? After all, Wearside is presently littered with journeymen players who’ve failed to impress at their previous clubs.

To find out, we bagged Tom Heslop, editor of Vital Birmingham and contributor to the Birmingham Mail to give us the lowdown.

David Cotterill, a man who was very under-appreciated during the year 2017. Since the shock sacking of Gary Rowett in December 2016, Cotterill had been out of favour at Birmingham City and his lack of game time reflected on the team more than some fans would care to admit.

With his fantastic ability on the ball, in play and from set pieces, under the correct management, Cotterill is one of the best wide players in the entire division - on his day.

He has the skill and tactical awareness to use both feet, and go a good standard as well, and if you can get him playing with confidence then you'll realise just how good a footballer he actually is.

Gianfranco Zola, Harry Redknapp and Steve Cotterill never put faith in him like Rowett did and the lack of creativity and goals in the Blues team showed when he wasn't in it.

If Sunderland do end up signing Cotterill, they'll be getting a winger who is passionate, committed, creative and deadly from set-pieces.

Cotterill could turn out to be one of the best free transfers this season.

The Black Cats are short of options out wide on the right with Duncan Watmore out injured for the season and Callum McManaman failing to impress. Josh Maja replaced the summer signing from West Brom in the New Years Day defeat to Barnsley, but Chris Coleman has utilised the youngster sparingly so far this season.

Indeed, a quick browse of social media in the hours since Cotterill was linked with Sunderland indicates a fair few Birmingham fans already dreading that the Welsh winger could yet return to haunt their side in the relegation battle consuming the two clubs.