Having recruited Frank Lampard, Manchester City are poised to call time on Jack Rodwell’s disaster-laden spell at the Etihad Stadium.
Sunderland are the benefactors of this decision, with Gus Poyet’s men in pole position to land the England international for a fraction of the £15m the Citizens paid Everton to land the fledgling superstar who never was.
Rotten injury luck and immense competition in the champions’ ranks have limited Rodwell’s ability to make an impact in Manchester, but if the Black Cats can keep him fit, the 23-year-old can give his sky blue employers ample cause to regret cutting him loose.
Here are three reasons why the north east club and 7/2 top ten-finish shouts will come to love the sickly former prodigy.
Rodwell has all the attributes of a first-rate holding-midfielder.
A total of 26 appearances in two years with City is a worrying statistic, but the three-cap Three Lion has unquestionable talent, which he showcased primarily at Everton.
He will inject the tenacity to the holding-midfield department that Liam Bridcutt lacks, while simultaneously offering the elegance in possession that Lee Cattermole can only dream of; the classy Audi estate to their vulgar Saxo/Nova hybrid.
Sunderland’s last capture of a Man City reject worked out well.
Hometown hero Adam Johnson returned to Wearside with ample fanfare and, while occasionally struggling to delight the masses, he enjoyed the finest goalscoring campaign of his career last time around, hauling the Black Cats out of the relegation mire with eight strikes.
Of all the attainable defensive-midfield options on the market, few suit the Poyet style quite like Rodwell.
With technically adept players such as Jack Colback and Ki Sung-yueng no longer available to scratch midfield itches, Sunderland urgently require an individual with passing prowess.
In terms of accuracy, few can question Rodwell’s radar.
His pass completion rate was north of 80 per cent throughout his three seasons in the Everton first-team, hitting a high of 87.6 per cent in his final full campaign.