Aston Villa

Signed In 2010 For £7M, But What Will He Fetch Now?

Martin O’Neill is already looking to strengthen his Sunderland squad in the summer and Wolves striker Steven Fletcher is high on his list according to The Mail.  With relegation almost a certainty for the Midlands side it looks as though O’Neill may ‘kick them when they’re down’ by taking the club’s record signing.

Wolves’ Scottish international striker signed from Burnley in 2010 for £7m and has scored 10 goals so far this season, including 2 against The Black Cats in December.

In a team which has struggled to perform in the Premiership this seems like a fair effort and it would certainly be interesting to see how he could perform with better quality players around him.  The fee is yet to be determined but if the inevitable does happen and Wolves do go down it is thought Fletcher would be looking to ensure Premiership football again next season, enabling O’Neill to negiotiate from a strong position.

Since arriving at the Stadium Of Light O’Neill has been a huge success and is looking consolidate with a series of signings during the summer break.  Despite a sizable transfer fund being likely to be made available to him it seems O’Neill will pass on making Nicklas Bendtner’s temporary move a permanent one.

Thus a move for Fletcher looks like a sensible and very ‘O’Neill like’ move.  He has a reputation for being a shewrd wheeler dealer in the transfer market and a big money, big name signing is not his style.

The former Aston Villa and Celtic man is also thought to be monitoring Blackburn midfielder Keith Andrews who is currently on loan at West Brom.  However at 31 the Irish international is not a long term solution to any issues, but as a free agent he could certainly do a job for the Tynsiders.

Aston Villa’s versitile defender Carlos Cuellar is also thought to be on Sunderland’s radar.  He is a player O’Neill knows well from his time at Villa Park and the Spaniard is thought to be available on a free.

Sunderland were booed off after their 0-0 draw with Wolves on Saturday, with the manager describing the game as a ‘reality check’.

“I’m going to have to look at strengthening the squad”

It is no surprise O’Neill will be looking at getting the most for any monies invested during the summer.  Sunderland will not have the funds for big spends but I believe that this is what O’Neill seems to relish.  His real talent is signing lesser known or unknown talents and bringing the best out of them.

He seems to have a weakness for a certain type of player, generally a hard working type rather than a technically gifted player, and molding them to suit his requirements.  Despite not being big names, I for one would not be surprised if O’Neill turns these lesser known players into ones to watch next season.

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