Sunderland will be desperate to stop the rot this Saturday when Stoke City travel to Wearside, Michael Beale keeping everything crossed that his Black Cats side don’t succumb to their third defeat in a row in the Championship.
If they were to lose another game – putting them onto 13 losses already after 29 games played – the playoff picture could become even more distant for the stuttering Black Cats and Beale’s job could even eventually be on the line.
Beale could attempt to win back over the hardened Sunderland masses with this January buy, therefore, shopping in France potentially to win the player in question’s services.
Sunderland want to sign Lyon midfielder
According to a report in French outlet L’Equipe, Sunderland are interested in signing Olympique Lyonnais’ midfield warrior Skelly Alvero who comes in at a lofty 6 foot 7 frame.
With the 21-year-old finding himself frozen out of the first-team in France currently – absent from Lyon’s last five league encounters – Sunderland could come to the rescue and offer Alvero more game-time.
German side Werder Bremen are also reportedly interested in signing Alvero on a loan deal until the end of the campaign according to L’Equipe, Sunderland just behind the Bundesliga outfit in the queue for the young midfielder.
Having success recently signing Pierre Ekwah, who is a fellow compatriot of Alvero, the 21-year-old could well come into the Sunderland side and usurp the settled Black Cats first-teamer’s presence regardless.
As the January transfer window enters its final week, FFC has you covered for every in and out involving your club in the EFL Championship.
The current Lyon man could well come in and form an intimidating midfield duo with Dan Neil in the process, a transfer for Sunderland fans to certainly keep an eye out on.
How Alvero would slot into the Sunderland team
Joining Lyon from fellow French side Sochaux just last summer, Alvero starred for his former club before making the big leap to the Groupama Stadium.
During his time with his previous employers, Alvero would bag five goals and pick up four assists playing for both the Sochaux B team and the senior side.
Moreover, looking at FBRef statistics, Alvero excels in his diligent defensive duties more so than Ekwah currently does at the Stadium of Light.
Whilst Neil in the central midfield two enjoys roaming forward more than the Sunderland number 39, as seen in Neil’s 7.01 progressive passes averaged over the same time period, Alvero could come in and fulfil the role of anchor in the Black Cats side far more impressively than Ekwah.
Still, Alvero beats Neil when it comes to successful take-ons – the former coming in at 2.24 to Neil’s 0.96 – and could complement Neil’s tenacity on the ball brilliantly with similarly brave runs going forward.
Ekwah has also had his fair share of off-days in the Sunderland first team ranks recently, notably giving the ball up against Newcastle United in the already tense Tyne-Wear Derby after a short goal kick out from Anthony Patterson for Alexander Isak to then rifle home.
Signing Alvero would see the Black Cats shop in a left-field market, but with the potential deal being risk-free by loaning Alvero into the building until the end of the season, it could be a buy that pays off.