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Sunderland’s 20 Most Bizarre Signings: Part 3 ft. Chris Coleman’s surprise package & Julio’s pal

There’s been quite a few, hasn’t there? With a list as long as Costel Pantilimon’s arm, we have a look through Sunderland’s most bizarre purchases - continuing with number ten through to six.

Reading v Sunderland - Premier League Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

10. Kader Mangane

Kader Mangane - the man most famous for picking up a six month ban after a horrific tackle on Valenciennes midfielder Jonathan Lacourt in 2009 - joined Sunderland on loan in the January of 2013 from Al-Hilal (yeah, I know... who?).

Why Martin O’Neill brought the Senegalese centre back to Wearside when he already had a healthy roster of them already at the club is something of a mystery.

Add that to the fact the former Aston Villa manager never actually played him - it was in fact Paolo Di Canio who gave him his league debut at the club - and the transfer of Kader Mangane begins to make zero sense. Now retired, no one really understands the real reason why he actually rocked up at the Stadium of Light.

Big Kader Mangane, 100% win record against the Mags. Sunderland AFC

9. Kazenga Lua-Lua

“Kaz was determined to come here and get playing first-team football again” - perhaps he shouldn’t have came to Wearside then if that was the case.

Although he’d played as a winger right throughout his career, Chris Coleman declared he’d be using LuaLua as a number 10 behind the striker to give us some pace up front - however, he never started a single game for us.

The former Wales boss seemed unprepared to give Kazenga more than fifteen minutes from the bench in the opening throws of his time here, before he completely disappeared until the final day of the season, where caretaker manager Robbie Stockdale named him in the starting line up for our 3-0 win over Wolves... only for Lua-Lua to get injured in the warm up.

Doh. Don’t sign an unfit, permanently injured player to rescue you from relegation ever again, Chris. It makes no sense.

Birmingham City v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship
Although it was less than a year ago he signed for the club, can you remember anything he ever did for us?
Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

8. Nicolas Medina

A man who played so infrequently, he was sometimes simply referred to as Julio’s mate.

£3.5m wasn’t a small fee in the early 00s either - especially not on an untested kid from South America. Nonetheless, based on the success of his marra Julio Arca, it seemed to make some sort of sense. Within six months, though, it became abundantly clear the Argentine was not going to be afforded a chance by Peter Reid for some unknown reason.

Poor scouting? Julio needed a pal? Simply not good enough on reflection?

Almost two decades later, this one still baffles most Sunderland fans.

Nicolas Medina played one game for the Lads.
Sunderland AFC

7. Andy Cole

Here at Sunderland we’ve probably had two of the best strike forces in the history of the Premier League - the irresistible little-and-large partnership of SuperKev and Quinny, and latterly.... who can forget that we had Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole?

Well, quite a few of us actually.

Sadly, whereas Niall Quinn enjoyed an Indian summer at the club, Andy Cole looked every bit a player whose heyday was a decade previous.

With big money already spent on Kenwyne Jones and Michael Chopra, plus solid back-up in Daryl Murphy and Anthony Stokes, the signing of Andy Cole seemed unnecessary and he was soon farmed out to Burnley within three months of his arrival, contributing a grand total of nowt to Sunderland’s cause as we attempted to stay in the Premier League.

Sunderland v Derby - Premier League
Yes, we did once have Andy Cole on our books.
Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

6. Marcos Angeleri

Steve Bruce loved a South American signing. You can just see him now, sitting back in his armchair at home, mumbling about finishing tenth and proudly stating to anyone who would listen I knew how to pick a good bargain from those South American leagues, that’s fur sure” - except, he didn’t... Wilson Palacios aside.

Much like Medina, Angeleri was a full Argentina international when he arrived at the club, yet he looked like he’d be more at home in a pub league - and he even occasionally turned out for the reserve side.

With rumours of an ongoing knee injury before he joined, the transfer of the defender never seemed an intelligent one and so it proved, with sporadic substitute appearances and a disastrous performance in an FA Cup defeat to Notts County being his only outings in a Sunderland shirt.

He somehow ended up rediscovering his ability as a footballer by converting to center-back, where he had a successful spell in Spain for Malaga CF. Now 35, he’s currently still playing in that position in the Uruguayan top flight.

Sunderland v Notts County - FA Cup 3rd Round
Steve Bruce loved random South American buys
Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images