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LOAN REVIEW: Didier Ndong STILL missing - what was the point in Sunderland letting him go?

Didier Ndong is still M.I.A. having made the most pointless move of the January transfer window - but the same can’t be said of Tom Beadling, who thrived in a local derby victory over fellow Sunderland man Andrew Nelson’s Falkirk in the Scottish Championship.

West Ham United v Watford - Premier League Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

Sunderland U23 utility man Tom Beadling has impressed so far whilst out on loan at Dunfermline United. The 22-year-old has been used as both an attacking and defensive midfielder by his manager, former Sunderland winger Allan Johnston.

Dunfermline recently laid waste to Scottish Championship rivals Livingston 1-0, with the Barrow-born youngster completed the full 90 minutes in a midfield two alongside James Craigen.

The Pars the faced fellow Sunderland academy product Andrew Nelson’s side Falkirk, but it was Beadling and co who managed to claim the three points, running out with a 2-1 victory away from home in the local derby.

Beadling’s tough-tackling and hard working performance prompted the midfielder to be selected for the Scottish Football League team of the week.

The academy graduate has a fourteen-year association with our club but has thus far failed to make a single senior appearance for the Black Cats, with his long-term future as a Sunderland player not quite clear.

One thing that is clear us the impact Beadling is having on the Scottish Championship, with many Falkirk fans impressed with his versatility and stellar performances.

Having been afforded some time off after this weekend’s proceedings, Beadling was back in the North East visiting his old teammates and was spotted taking in a game played out by our under 14s alongside Lynden Gooch.

Wahbi Khazri faced off against world class opposition in Radamel Falcao, Tomas Lemar and Stevan Jovetic as his Rennes side drew 1-1 with Monaco after taking an early lead.

Rennes then travelled to OGC Nice on Sunday, with the Tunisian international slotting in behind striker Diafra Sakho in the number 10 position as his side drew 1-1 for a second game running.

The 27-year-old has enjoyed a sublime season for Ligue 1 Rennes so far, netting 11 goals in 24 appearances in all competitions for the French side - including audacious efforts against top quality opposition in Olympique Marseillais and Olympique Lyon.

AFP/Getty Images

Midfielder Didier Ndong was once again absent from Watford’s matchday squad for their 2-1 defeat against Burnley at Vicarage Road. The 23-year old joined the Hornets on transfer deadline day but has yet to register a single appearance in Javia Gracia’s side.

The Gabon international was on the bench for the games with West Ham United and Stoke City, before missing the last four games - with no sign that he’ll ever return.

Speaking to the Hertfordshire Mercury last week about why Ndong hasn’t been seen yet, the Watford manager said:

We choose other options because we have more players available and I choose what I think is best.

The deal that brought Ndong to Vicarage Road from the North East included a clause meaning the move would be made permanent provided the midfielder reached a certain amount of appearances.

What appears likely, however, is that he’ll return back to Wearside this summer having undertaken perhaps the most pointless loan spell in the history of this football club.

Instead of looking forward to extending his stay with Watford, the midfielder will likely be sold off elsewhere for a fee far below that what we paid when we brought him to the club from Lorient in the summer of 2016.

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Fabio Borini entered the Milan derby as an 81st minute substitute against Inter in Serie A a week ago, replacing Giacomo Bonaventura in midfield - the Sunderland loanee failed to influence the game in its dying embers, which ended in a goalless draw.

Sunderland’s former ‘Mag Slayer’ remained on the bench for AC Milan’s fixture with Sassuolo, with Manager Gennaro Gattuso this time opting against bringing Borini on as his side lumbered to a 1-1 draw at the San Siro.

The Versatile Italian has featured sporadically for Gattuso’s side this season, including the Europa League second leg loss to Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.

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Papy Djilobodji didn’t feature as his Dijon’s side drew 3-1 loss at home to Olympique Marseille after playing both games for Senegal over the international break.

However, Dijon returned to winning ways last Saturday upon the defender’s return to the side, overcoming Toulouse 1-0 away from hime.

The win leaves the former Chelsea man’s side - nicknamed The Mustards - sitting 11th in Ligue 1 with 41 points from 32 matches as the French club enjoy a comfortable mid-table season.

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