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Sunderland can land an Corry Evans heir in Morgan Sanson

Sunderland have been credited with an interest in Aston Villa midfielder Morgan Sanson recently and the Frenchman could be an ideal heir to Corry Evans at the Stadium of Light.

According to reports in France, the Black Cats are keen to offer Sanson an escape route from Villa Park after a disappointing spell at the Midlands club, following his £16m signing from Marseille in January 2021.

Since then, the 28-year-old has mustered just 21 appearances for the Villans, in which he has failed to contribute a single goal or assist, which emphasises just how much of a nightmare it has been for the midfielder in the Premier League.

However, he was brought to England for good reason, after impressing in Ligue 1 with Marseille, and a fresh start with Sunderland could be exactly what he needs to get his career back on track.

Sanson’s final full season with The Olympians saw him contribute five goals and four assists in 27 league appearances, with WhoScored awarding him an excellent 6.97 average rating for his performances, so he is clearly a quality player on his day.

Former Villa manager Dean Smith was full of praise for the midfielder when he arrived at the club in 2021.

He said:

“He has got a big game mentality, he has played at the top of the French league for the last five years, played in the Champions League.

“He is a great technician and has great tactical awareness.

“He can play in a number of positions, can set up goals and can score goals. He has a bit of everything in his game so we’re really pleased with the acquisition.”

If he could rediscover that sort of form at the Stadium of Light, he could well replace Evans in Tony Mowbray’s starting line up, as the Northern Irishman has struggled to impress with his performances in the Championship.

Now 32, the defensive-minded midfielder has no goals or assists in 18 appearances and is ranked as the 14th-best player in Mowbray’s squad so far this campaign, so it seems clear that Sanson could be an upgrade should he get back to his best in a Sunderland shirt.

Considering the former Hull City man’s contract is currently set to expire at the end of the season, those at Sunderland may already be considering who can replace him in their squad, as his current form and age suggest that he doesn’t warrant a contract extension.

He has also averaged fewer tackles, dribbles, key passes and shots than Sanson did in the 2019/20 campaign for Marseille, so the Frenchman feels like a natural heir to Evans for Sunderland in January.