Wayne Bridge, spotted here being a footballer.
Well, we all woke up this morning hoping and maybe even expecting Bolton Wanderer's striker Kevin Davies to be joining the club on a day of limited activity, then BAM!... the announcement on Sky Sports News that Saturdays-banging occasional-footballer (I kid) Wayne Bridge would be joining the club on loan until the end of the season.
Rumour was abound all morning, and now it appears to be pushed through. Bridge, 31, WILL be available to play against Norwich City tomorrow night.
Reports suggest that we're paying only 40% of his massive wages whilst he's here until the end of the season, and while we're light on bodies, and many people are skeptical about the signing of Bridge, I think we have to welcome it really.
Regardless of how little he's been playing of late, he still has some Premier League pedigree and was quoted in December as being "desperate" to play first team football again, so hopefully that hunger combined with Martin O'Neill's magic trick of turning poor players into world-beaters. Bridge could be a very useful acquisition, echoed by O'Neill, who told reporters "I'm hoping that with Wayne's undoubted experience and ability he can be a big help to the team until the end of the season."
Thoughts immediately turn to the position of Kieran Richardson, who currently is the holder of the left-back position. What are we going to do with him? I personally think he continues as is. Bridge has played the odd Reserve Team... sorry, "Elite Development Squad" game for Manchester City this season, and whilst he won't be 100% match-fit from the start, it's certainly cover and competition which is needed at the moment.
Richardson could well find himself in midfield in coming weeks what with the injuries to David Vaughan and Lee Cattermole. Although Jack Colback is sure to be sticking his oar in and looking for games in the vacant spot. Richardson's versatility could also see him challenge James McClean down the left. The Irishman has done very well, but it would benefit all for him to have compeition, or even just provide a different option.
We might be on the fence about this one, but at the end of it all, O'Neill has done wonders so far, so we simply have to back his judgement. Plus he's done soemthing no other manager has done at the club in quite some time - signed an actual proper left-back.
Welcome to Sunderland, Wayne. And you too Frankie.
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