An update has emerged on Sunderland and their attempts to add a winger to their squad during the January transfer window…
French outlet Le Petit Lillois has reported that the Black Cats are in talks to sign Lille forward Isaac Lihadji in the final week and a half of the month.
They Tweeted: “As announced by @Treize013 and which we can confirm, Isaac Lihadji is in very advanced contact with Sunderland AFC (D2). The player even visited the facilities of the English club. The Hamburg club (D2) also approached the player, to no avail.”
The attacker is expected to secure a permanent transfer to the Stadium of Light if all goes to plan but it remains to be seen whether he will be a signing for the first team immediately or for the future.
Sunderland dipped into the French market last summer to sign Edouard Michut from Paris Saint-Germain and could now find an exciting partner for him in attack by landing Lihadji.
The current Black Cats midfielder has only started twice in the Championship this season but is a long-term asset for the club, at the age of 19, and showed promise in Ligue 1 last season by assisting one goal in five appearances for PSG.
Lihadji, meanwhile, racked up 13 appearances, starting twice, in Ligue 1 for Lille last season and chipped in with an eye-catching one goal and three assists – creating 13 chances in total – despite his limited involvement.
French reporter @treize013 spoke to the Roker Report to provide insight on the winger and said:
“He is fast and explosive. He enjoys taking defenders on in 1v1 situations. He is very comfortable at dribbling, and has good ball control. He also has a good quality through the centre. His strengths are speed, and decision-making with good technical quality.
“He can ignite the stadium, and can also become one of the darlings of Sunderland supporters if things go well.”
Football talent scout Jacek Kulig also once described the attacker as being “explosive” and this indicates, along with the creativity that he displayed in the French top-flight last term, that the gem could be an exciting player for the fans to watch.
The 20-year-old is a promising young talent, who has already shown flashes of his quality in a major European league, and could be the future of Sunderland’s attack alongside his fellow countryman Michut, 19.
Just imagine the pair developing alongside each other and eventually making themselves mainstays in the Black Cats team in the Championship, or even in the Premier League, for years to come…