Mike Dodds makes Sunderland transfer claim involving Yann M'Vila and West Brom | OneFootball

Mike Dodds makes Sunderland transfer claim involving Yann M'Vila and West Brom | OneFootball

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·12 April 2024

Mike Dodds makes Sunderland transfer claim involving Yann M'Vila and West Brom

Article image:Mike Dodds makes Sunderland transfer claim involving Yann M'Vila and West Brom

Re-signing Yann M'Vila may not have been the right move for Sunderland to make in January had they done so.

That's according to the Black Cats' interim manager Mike Dodds, who does however admit that the club will need to add to their midfield options come the summer transfer window.

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M'Vila is of course no stranger to Sunderland. The midfielder previously spent the 2015/16 campaign on loan at The Stadium of Light.

During that time, he made 40 appearances in all competitions for the club, as they finished 17th in the Premier League that season.

Earlier this year, reports from France claimed that the Black Cats were working on a deal to bring the 33-year-old back to the club.

Ultimately though, no deal materialised, and it now seems as though Dodds believes that may have been for the best for Sunderland.

Mike Dodds reflects on Yann M'Vila links

Although he did not sign for Sunderland, M'Vila is still now back in England, having signed for the Black Cats' Championship rivals West Brom as a free agent back in February.

That move to The Hawthorns saw him reunite with his former Olympiacos manager, Carlos Corberan.

Since making that move, the Frenchman has made four appearances for the Baggies, and started for them for the first time in their win over Rotherham United in midweek.

The fact that M'Vila has found his game time limited for West Brom, means Dodds seemingly feels Sunderland may have been justified in not making a move for M'Vila.

With Sunderland and West Brom now set to go head-to-head on Saturday, Dodds has been asked about the Black Cats not signing M'Vila back in January.

Responding to those questions, Dodds told The Sunderland Echo: “I think the midfield is probably an area that needs addressing moving forwards, but what I would say about Yann M’Vila is that [midweek] was his first game he’s played [started] for West Brom.

"I don’t know what the circumstances are for him, or for West Brom, but if we had signed him in January, then in the same circumstances, we would only have been seeing him with four games to go.

"In terms of that situation, that’s the point I would make to people. He’s only made his first start now, so he probably wouldn’t have helped us [in the short term]. However, I do feel there are a number of positions that need more depth.

"think midfield is just one of a number of those positions. The club has a really strong core and all the minutes these lads are getting will stand them in really good stead for next season, but of course we can’t just expect them to go again."

Mixed priorities for West Brom and Sunderland

Going into Saturday's game at The Hawthorns, there will be different focuses for these two sides.

West Brom are fifth, nine points clear of seventh place, and so will be looking to take another step towards confirming their place in the play-offs come the end of the campaign.

By contrast, Sunderland are 13th, out of the running for a top spot, but not danger of suffering relegation, with a strong end to the season now their only focus.

Yann M'Vila may have played a part for Sunderland

You can understand the point that Dodds is making here. With just a handful of games remaining in the season, M'Vila has only just made his first appearance for West Brom.

As a result, his overall impact for the Baggies could end up being relatively limited, and may have been the same had he made the move to Sunderland instead.

That therefore, means the investment on his wage might not have been a worthwhile one for the Black Cats to make.

However, it could also be noted that West Brom have had a settled and established central midfield pairing for the second half of this season, in the form of Okay Yokuslu and Jayson Molumby.

With that in mind, there may be an argument that M'Vila may have had more playing time had he signed for another club, where that was not the case.

The experience and insight he brings, could also have helped a rather young Sunderland side produce a stronger end to the season than they actually have.

Given there is evidently a few factors to be taken into consideration here, it will be interesting to see how much interest M'Vila attracts in the summer - when his West Brom contract expires - and where it comes from.

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