MK Dons on potential Grigg offer
MK Dons announced a new Sporting Director recently, with Liam Sweeting stepping up from Head of Recruitment and Performance Analysis into the newly created role following the departure of Andrew Cullen to Portsmouth.
In an interview with MKfm, Sweeting discusses the possibility of Sunderland striker Will Grigg returning to the club for a third time, following last season’s successful loan spell.
Sweeting explains that the club think very highly of the Northern Ireland international but admits that he does not have as much control over the player’s future due to Grigg still belonging to Sunderland:
That will be down to me and Russ, obviously Griggy is a player we think really highly of but he doesn’t belong to us, he belongs to Sunderland.
We don’t have as much control over that one as we might have another target, but for sure we’ll be informed on that situation.
Regarding his new role, which mirrors the one Kristjaan Speakman recently took up at Sunderland, Sweeting explains it’s a relatively new position and structure for a League One club but it’s one that he feels is best to achieve success:
It’s relatively new for League One, it shows how the chairman thinks and that he wants to operate slightly differently to how some teams operate, and I think that will give us an edge.
But, for sure, the best European clubs, the big football giants, certainly are beginning to follow this structure and the more successful ones, in my opinion, already do.
Spam folder sabotages a Sunderland transfer?
It’s perhaps unsurprising that Sunderland have had more than one popular documentary made about the club, due to the circus that often surrounds the club.
There is no shortage of strange stories that come to light that make you say ‘typical Sunderland’ and there is one more to add to the list.
19-year-old Joshua Kitolano is a rising star of Norwegian football, playing for the National team at every level up until the under-21s and already has 74 senior appearances to his name with Norwegian top flight outfit Odds BK.
VG.no tell a story about how Kitolano could have ended up playing for Sunderland but the club’s Scandanavian scout during the 2013-14 season, Bjarne Hansen, could not get through to anyone at the player’s then club, Gulset IF, to offer the 12-year-old a trial at the Academy of Light:
We sent emails to them twice, but never received a response. It was strange.
All these years later, Hansen is still a fan of the youngster, proclaiming him his favourite player in the Eliteserien:
Joshua is my favorite in Norway now. Every time I see him, I am impressed.
He is a very good box-to-box player, confident in the passing game, has incredibly good charisma and is physically strong.
Jonathan Bjerk of Gulset, says that the club have discussed rumours over the years that Sunderland wanted Kitolano but said if they had have seen the offer, they would have reacted positively to it, as they did when Joshua’s elder brother went to Wolverhampton Wanderers and theorises that the email offers may have been filtered as spam:
It has been up as a discussion in the club sometimes. We have wondered if it is just a made up story or if it is true.
When John [Kitolano, older brother] went to Wolverhampton, it was the biggest day in club history, so of course we had answered something like that.
Maybe it ended up in a spam filter. There were also a number of replacements on the board, so there may have been a miss.
You can look at it with humor, but it’s sad for Joshua.
Although Bjerk is disappointed for the player, Kitolano himself has no regrets, just finding the whole farce to be a funny story:
I found out a few years later. I have no opinion on that. It’s a funny story. A bit strange.
Linked ‘keeper released
Sunderland have been regularly linked with Manchester United goalkeeper Jacob Carney over the last few months.
The 20-year-old has just finished a successful loan in the NIFL Premiership with Portadown but will now be looking for a new permanent club ahead of next season after United confirmed their retained list.
Ole Gunnar Solksjaer’s side confirmed that Carney has been released and will be free to sign for a new club once his contract expires at the end of the month.
Thank you to @portadownfc , Mathew Tipton and all the staff for the chance and experience over the last 6 months. Also to the fans who have made me very welcome. The lads have been different class on and off the pitch.— Jacob Carney (@Jake_carney1) June 6, 2021
All the best for the future ⚪️❤️ pic.twitter.com/CSuHBQtOBH