Liverpool’s Fabio Borini looks set to join Napoli’s former Red Andrea Dossena in a deadline-day loan switch to Sunderland as Paolo Di Canio keeps ushering recruits into the Stadium of Light.
Should both deals be completed by the time the transfer window closes, Sunderland – 9/4 to be relegated from the Premier League with bwin – will have loaded 14 new faces on to the playing staff.
Yet the early signs don’t hold a lot of promise for the Black Cats, who have collected one point from their opening three opponents, none of whom can be considered anything close to the division’s elite.
With such a large-scale squad overhaul no one is surprised to see teething difficulties, but these latest two names in particular highlight the flaws in Di Canio’s transfer policy.
After managing at Swindon with little or no capital to work with, the Italian has been throwing cash around with carefree abandon at Sunderland, bringing in players galore in a bid to rectify the problems his side faced last season when they came perilously close to being relegated.
Quality, however, appears to be an afterthought.
Italian under-21 international Borini showed glimpses of talent in Serie A and the Championship, but with a return of one goal in 13 games in the English top flight, it currently looks as though Liverpool have wasted their money.
However, while Borini still has enough promise to be worth a gamble in the Premier League, compatriot Dossena does not.
The Napoli left back was shunted back to Serie A following a largely unsuccessful spell at Anfield, and while there’s nothing Di Canio could do about losing last season’s on-loan left back Danny Rose, it’ll be a tough ask for him to show he’s an improvement on the current holder of that position, Jack Colback.
With the club appearing to be moving in a lateral direction, a bet on their still-healthy relegation price could well lead to profit come next spring.