Taylor critical of Sunderland Recruiters
Lyle Taylor will line up against Sunderland at Wembley on Sunday after a sensational season with Charlton Athletic where he scored 25 goals and provided a further 12 assists but he could have been on our side but for ‘the people above Jack Ross’.
While Taylor has previously said he chose Charlton as it was close to home and because he wanted to work with Lee Bowyer, he has revealed on the eve of the Play-Off Final that he would have signed for the club but the Sunderland board were ridiculously stubborn while negotiating with the 29-year-old:
I went up to Sunderland and met the manager. I saw the facilities and it’s a hell of a club and Jack Ross is a hell of a manager as has been demonstrated this season.
But there were things said and done by those above the manager. That ended up why I didn’t go there and that’s why I play for Charlton and not Sunderland.
At Charlton, the club were clear with everything. It was like, ‘This is what we’re going to do, this is what we want and this is what you want. Here’s the deal, if you like it, sign it. If you don’t, don’t sign it.’
But, at Sunderland, it was wishy washy. We asked them for something while negotiating the contract and they said, ‘We can’t really give you that because if you don’t do that, are you going to pay us money back?’
It was almost like, ‘Hang on, I know you’ve been involved in non-league football at Eastleigh before but this is not how professional football works.’
All I was hearing was, ‘We can’t do this, we can’t do that’ yet what I was asking for wasn’t exactly astronomical, which has been wrongly documented.
At one point we asked for a couple of hundred quid for something and they were quibbling over it, despite paying this player £35,000 a week and another £25,000 a week.
So in the end I thought, ‘I’ll take less money at Charlton’.
It had nothing to do with Jack Ross. He did everything he could to make me sign for the club. I probably would’ve signed for the manager but the powers that be were ridiculously stubborn.
Kone set for Strasbourg stay?
Lamine Kone has spent the last season on loan in Ligue 1 with Strasbourg and they finished their season last night with a 1-0 win at Nantes which leaves them 11th in the table, a game where Kone came on as a late substitute for the visitors.
There had been reports recently of the 30-year-old returning to Sunderland at the conclusion of his loan deal with the French side but according to a post-match report last night, Strasbourg are keen to keep the defender at the club.
FranceBleu claim that Strasbourg are ‘very likely’ to take up the purchase option in the Ivorian’s contract and so the player will remain in Alsace next season.
Striker set to depart?
Development squad striker Connor Shields has spent the last season on loan at Scottish Championship outfit Alloa Athletic but is out of contract at Sunderland this summer and reports suggest that he is set to leave the club.
Shields arrived at the club from Albion Rovers on January deadline day in 2018, signing an 18-month deal but with his contract set to expire, former Sky Sports reporter Pete O’Rourke claims the 21-year-old has been told that he won’t be retained.
The report goes on to claim that York City, Derry City and Dunfermline Athletic are all interested in Shields.
Academy product news
Sunderland academy product John Egan says he always believed he was good to play in the Premier League, even after he was released by the club.
Egan is set to step-up to the top flight after his Sheffield United were promoted and, speaking from the Republic of Ireland training camp, the centre-back explains how difficult it is to get Premier League experience.
Like many of my Sheffield United teammates, I’ve had to bounce back from setbacks in my career, most of our squad came from down the divisions, be in League One or Two, and we’ve had to battle our way into the Premier League.
Nowadays it’s just really hard to go straight into a Premier League team without having experience of games behind you.
I was at Sunderland wondering why I didn’t make the bench, but it is more difficult for a centre-back to be given their chance, especially as the team were in relegation fights.
Football is hard, it’s not rosy all the time. I had a summer of uncertainty after Sunderland released me, not knowing where I’d end up. The offers weren’t necessarily flooding in.
I’ve always believed I was good enough to play in the Premier League. I felt that way on the day Sunderland released me.
Meanwhile, Coventry City have signed former Sunderland goalkeeper Ben Wilson on a free transfer from Bradford City.
The 26-year-old academy product has signed a three-year deal with the League One side and has become the club’s second goalkeeper signing of the summer transfer window after they also brought in Marko Marosi from Doncaster Rovers.