An update has emerged on Sunderland and their pursuit of Abdoullah Ba in the summer transfer window…
Sky Sports reporter Keith Downie has claimed that the youngster is in England and is on the verge of making the switch to the Black Cats from France.
He Tweeted: “As reported elsewhere, forward Ahmad Diallo close to formalising a loan from Man United. And teenage midfielder Abdoullah Ba is on Wearside to complete a permanent move from Le Havre #
French outlet L’Equipe have reported that the gem is poised to arrive at the Stadium of Light for a fee in the region of €1m (£860k).
This appears to be a signing that the Black Cats faithful will need to be patient with as he may not be ready to make an immediate or significant impact on the pitch in the Championship.
Instead, he could be a player who has been brought in for the future, as he has the majority of his career left ahead of him at the age of 19. He does not enter his 20s until July 2023 and Tony Mowbray could use this season to ease him into life in England.
The youngster has never played outside of his home country and may take time to settle in to new surroundings, although compatriot Edouard Michut arriving at the same time could help him as they will be in the same situation.
He has averaged a SofaScore rating of 6.70 in Ligue 2 this term, after averaging a score of 6.50 in 17 outings in 2021/22, whilst playing as a central midfielder – which would place him 11th in the current Black Cats squad.
Whilst these statistics do not suggest that he is going to be setting the Championship alight this season, his career so far is impressive for a player of his age.
He has racked up 27 first-team appearances for the club and has been capped 15 times by France at U19 level, which shows how highly he is rated by his country as he has been a regular for their youth teams.
Le Havre’s youth set-up is known for producing the likes of Paul Pogba, Riyad Mahrez, Dimitri Payet, Steve Mandanda, and Pape Gueye in the last ten years or so.
He could now be the next to come off the production line if he is able to continue his development whilst adapting to life in England, as he could improve with more experience under his belt.
If Mowbray can help the gem to fulfil his potential in the years to come then the Black Cats could have a star in midfield and the £860k fee may be looked back on as a huge bargain.