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Post  cyprussyd on 2013-08-08, 10:02 am

by Graeme Anderson
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Published on the
08 August
2013


PAOLO Di Canio wants the heartbeat of his new Sunderland side to be English.

The head coach has spent the summer bringing foreign recruits into the Stadium of Light.

But last night he told the Echo that a ball-playing English central midfielder – around which his remodelled side would revolve – was absolutely key to his plans.

And while he still wants to strengthen his options at full-back, maybe even bring in a winger as James McClean heads for the exit, the acquisition of that key player in the middle of the park is his absolute top priority.

“The club is working on the two full-backs, but more important to me is the need to get a key player in central midfield – someone who’s English,” he said.

“He needs to be English, with a physical presence, because we have analysed that that is a need we have.

“English, because he needs to know English football inside out. And also a player with very good quality – because we want to play attractive football which gets good results.”

That sort of player sounds very much like Tottenham Hotspur’s Tom Huddlestone, who, the Echo exclusively revealed in June, was a player Sunderland had made serious inquiries for.

The Black Cats have kept tabs on the England international throughout the summer and the ex-Derby man remains very much at the top of the list.

But, with no breakthrough having been made, Sunderland are also scouting other possible signings who could fulfil that role.

Di Canio says, though, that the success of that pursuit lies is firmly in the hands of the club’s newly appointed director of football Roberto De Fanti and chief scout Valentino Angeloni, rather than his own.

“I hope it can be done,” the head coach added. “I know they are working to make it happen.

“I hope it does, because as head coach I know the process of improvement – how to link the middle of the field with the back four, or the front four.

“Everyone can have their opinion.

“But to me it is clear that we need a real play-maker, with a real identity, and not just a player who can fill in, in that role.”

As well as working on players coming in, the club is working on players going out and Di Canio’s pursuit of the player he outlined above seems to underline that skipper Lee Cattermole no longer has a future at the club.

The former Wigan and Middlesbrough midfielder is among a number of players who were told they could leave at the end of last season but still remain on the books as things stand.

H Fulham, who start the Premier League season with a trip to Sunderland on Saturday week, yesterday completed a season-long loan deal for QPR midfielder Adel Taarabt.

The talented Moroccan said: “This was a difficult decision for me, but at this stage of my career I feel I need to be playing at the top level.”

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Post  cyprussyd on 2013-08-08, 10:08 am

So we know about Huddlestone but who else fits the bill?

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Post  Rovertsafc on 2013-08-08, 10:27 am

Benayoun,he is a free agent now,i know he's not english but has prem experience.
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Post  Guest on 2013-08-08, 11:52 am

A ball-playing English midfielder?  The last one of those I saw was called Paul Gascoigne.  Stick to your foreign imports, Paolo.  Huddlestone's assist rate is good, with a lot of accurate through balls, so he's probably our best English bet, but he could hardly be called 'ball-playing', could he?
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Post  Mackemneil on 2013-08-08, 1:43 pm

Its a limited field and I don't think going for the likes of Parker or Barry would be a step forward because they are too old.

So my shortlist is: 
Macarthy (Wigan)
Rodwell
Huddlestone
Milner
Henderson
Downing
Allen
Townsend
Livermore
Noble

and my preference would be the top 3 in that order
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Post  MrRAWhite on 2013-08-08, 2:25 pm

It's been bandied about that Joey Barton has been spotted at the AOL...I would imagine it is some kind of Mag wind up, but would be an unmitigated PR disaster in my opinion if it turned out to be true..

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Post  cyprussyd on 2013-08-08, 3:44 pm

MrRAWhite wrote:It's been bandied about that Joey Barton has been spotted at the AOL...I would imagine it is some kind of Mag wind up, but would be an unmitigated PR disaster in my opinion if it turned out to be true..
he will be having lunch with Keane, Scholes, Hesky and N'Zogbia, they are there every window.

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Post  cyprussyd on 2013-08-08, 5:11 pm

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Post  Silvers on 2013-08-08, 7:13 pm

I think Catts is English..


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Post  cyprussyd on 2013-08-08, 7:32 pm

silvers wrote:I think Catts is English..


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he is but Paolo mentioned pass the ball

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Post  black fox on 2013-08-08, 8:39 pm

can we not bring back raich carter cos according to my dear old dad nobody could hold a candle to him in that role, being a bit more serious pdc's comment seem to point to huddlestone.

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Post  sunderpitt on 2013-08-08, 8:42 pm

black fox wrote:can we not bring back raich carter cos according to my dear old dad nobody could hold a candle to him in that role, being a bit more serious pdc's comment seem to point to huddlestone.
 I also remember one J Baxter was not bad but as he is scotch he would not be eligible
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Post  Hieronymus on 2013-08-08, 9:47 pm

Yup, I reckon this is pointing towards Huddlestone too. This would be a good move for him, as well as us.
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Post  Silvers on 2013-08-08, 10:36 pm

Can be class on his day.
But has been mentioned previously, he has not played many games in the last five years...
Very injury prone
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Post  Guest on 2013-08-09, 3:05 pm

But are English players not shite, and over paid, and over hyped?

Maybe i have been in a time warp, or just reading so much shite:D 
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Post  cretanmakem on 2013-08-09, 6:45 pm

Guys this was misquoted ,,, Paulo actually said he needs an english hearth for his new pad ,,,, no way will he get an english heart for his team ,,,, like rocking horse poop .
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