PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 29: Yuichi Komano of Japan tackles Cristian Riveros of Paraguay during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Round of Sixteen match between Paraguay and Japan at Loftus Versfeld Stadium on June 29, 2010 in Pretoria, South Africa. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
Sunderland's rebuilding effort continued with it being reported on several Turkish media sites that SuperLig side Kayserispor have indeed signed Paraguayan international Cristian Riveros from us. They aren't the most in depth stories, but they've put it up nonetheless as rumours have flown round the clubs fan sites, with Turkish TV also prepared to run the story, all very reminicent of when Lorik Cana signed for Galatasaray.
Steve Bruce was pretty vocal about Riveros last week, saying the midfielder still has a role to play at the club, and in the wake of Jordan Henderson's departure there was a glimmer that it may be true. However as we speculated on the podcast, this was nothing more than an exercise in building the lad up so someone might come in for him.
What does this mean for us? Well very little to be honest, such was the lack of impact made in his stay on Wearside. It's good however that we manage to shift players on when they don't work out, unlike the Roy Keane-era where we were left with a squad of roughly 827 overpaid players. Just Marcos Angeleri, Matt Kilgallon, Nyron Nosworthy & George McCartney to go and the sales should be complete, leaving us with no hanger-on's.
To describe him as a Turkey maybe a little harsh, but ultimately it's how he will be remembered by our fans. The signing promised lots, and we watched him in the World Cup 2010 with much intrigue as Paraguay went far, and Riveros being a top notch player. Unfortunately it never manifested into the Premier League, and with precious little opportunities Riveros never managed to grasp them with a few middling performances at best across his 14 games. Promised so much, we saw so little.
I've no doubts Riveros is probably a good player, in fact he is, we've seen it at international level, but that's a totally different ball game. From the games I've seen him play at that level, he seems to be content to keep the play flowing forward without getting overly stuck in. We have Jack Colback who can do that, with more energy, younger, fitter and hungrier.
With Darron Gibson from Manchester United potentially coming in too, the midfield was beginning to look awfully crowded, and if Riveros stayed then his rare opportunities would have become almost extinct.
I suppose we never got to see the real Riveros, and now we never will. A victim of a system and league not suited to him? I think so, but I'm not gonna lose any sleep over this one. Kayserispor came 6th in the SuperLig last year, and perhaps a high to middling team in what is considered by many a smaller league will do him good and he'll be more suited.
Farewell Cristian, we hardly knew thee.