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On This Day: 19 August 2015 – Full back linked with Sunderland return after PVA has poor start

ON THIS DAY (2015): After a poor start to the season for Patrick van Aanholt, Dick Advocaat was eyeing up a replacement left back for Sunderland.

Patrick Van Aanholt Signs Contract Extension With Sunderland Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

On this day in 2015, Dick Advocaat and Lee Congerton were pondering a move for left-back Marcos Alonso, after the team – and Patrick van Aanholt in particular – had started the season in poor form.

After conceding seven in the first two games – a 4-2 reverse at Leicester and a 3-1 defeat to newly promoted Norwich – the season had gotten off to the worst possible start. And while the results had been bad, performances had been worse.

So, in search of defensive stability, attention was turned to Alonso.

Soccer - Capital One Cup - Semi Final - First Leg - Sunderland v Manchester United - Stadium of Light
Hands up if you want to sign for Sunderland
Photo by Richard Sellers - PA Images via Getty Images

After we’d baulked at the £3.5m price tag a year earlier, after the Spaniard’s successful spell under Gus Poyet, we’d been alerted to the possibility he would be available at a knock-down price from Fiorentina, after he’d failed to agree terms on a £2.5m transfer to Norwich.

For whatever reason, of course, Alonso wasn’t seriously pursued and – one good season later – finally arrived in England, for a bargain price of… £24m.

Sunderland v West Ham United - Premier League
He came out of retirement to manage Sunderland. Retired again. And he’s since had six jobs, including a spell in charge of the Netherlands. Currently boss of Feyenoord, Advocaat also owns a chain of florists.
Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images

One of the many reasons for our demise has been terrible recruitment resulting in losing money on the vast majority of transfer deals.

The decision to save a million or two by not signing Alonso in the summer of 2014 turned out to be a poor decision for a multitude of reasons – but of course, thanks to Advocaat’s successor Allardyce, van Aanholt was turned into a £14m full back.

A prospect which, having watched the first two games of this season, was very, very hard to imagine.