Lorient's Didier Ndong joins Sunderland for record £13.6m fee - Twitter Reacts
Sunderland have signed Gabon international midfielder Didier Ndong from Lorient for £13.6 million, which is the highest fee that the Black Cats have ever paid up front for a player. The 22-year-old is believed to be in the mould of N’Golo Kante and Idrissa Gueye, both of whom have excelled in the Premier League. This is an exciting signing for the club and adds some much needed bite to their midfield.
The club have had an underwhelming start, taking just one point from their opening three matches in the Premier League. This has caused worries among the fan-base that they might be in for a relegation fight and David Moyes’ comments after the Middlesbrough game didn’t help the mood. However the signing of Ndong has increased positivity on Wearside.
Jack Rodwell has been given the responsibility to win the ball in midfield areas during their first three matches, but he isn’t suited to the role and it was clear they needed to bring a player in. Ndong is tenacious and has a high work rate, which should suit English football. Last season, he averaged 2.8 tackles and 2.2 interceptions per game, showing his ability to play the defensive midfield role. Sunderland have failed to dominate possession in any of their three opening matches and Ndong should help rectify this problem. The Black Cats haven’t looked great at the back, but the addition of a defensive midfielder like Ndong will help strengthen the entire unit.
His passing accuracy of 87.3% last season shows that he is good at retaining possession and he should offer calmness to Sunderland’s midfield. Ndong likes to be involved in the game and dictate the tempo from midfield. His ability to win the ball back and his eye for a pass will lead to counter-attacks for Sunderland, which is a strategy that David Moyes will want to use this season.
There are concerns about his discipline, as he picked up eleven yellow cards last season and has already received a red card in the new Ligue 1 campaign. This is a problem as Sunderland will be looking to build the team around him. If he does improve this part of his game he has the potential to have a Kante-like influence.
Sunderland supporters should be excited about this signing as he provides battling qualities that their side has lacked during the opening weeks of the season. It also shows that the club is forward thinking and realises that this type of player is becoming crucial in the modern game. Ndong is highly-rated in France and he now has a huge opportunity to take the Premier League by storm.
Here is how Twitter reacted to the signing:
There was excitement within the Sunderland fan-base:
— Darren Hall (@dazla25) August 31, 2016
— Daniel Graham Parker (@dgp202) August 31, 2016
— 🏴🇬🇧 (@iamsmythy) August 31, 2016
Although not a lot have seen him play:
Not heard of Didier Ndong? Neither had we. Midfielder. Gabon international. Used to play for French side Lorient. 22-year-old…BBC
— Joe Lee (@Joelee15) August 31, 2016
I've never seen Ndong play but with weird hair and a funny name it's only normal to presume he's world class isn't it?!
— Rossy (@Rossy1995_) August 31, 2016
Not going to complain about this Ndong until a see him play. The last player we signed from Lorient is an absolute monster @LamineKone_23
— BGM ♠️ (@B_mitch20) August 31, 2016
Many thought they had overpaid:
OFFICIAL: Sunderland sign Didier Ndong for €16m – fee confirmed by #SAFC. Big price, but he has what it takes to make it in EPL.
— Robin Bairner (@RBairner) August 31, 2016
Finally, it seems that Sunderland fans think they are spending their money wrongly: