Sunderland’s team of talent spotters and their confused ideals about what makes a good footballer are said to have taken a shining to Liverpool centre-back Tiago Ilori.
The youngster is currently on loan at Bordeaux and Black Cats representatives were in attendance to watch him turn out for Portugal Under-21s against Denmark last week.
Celtic and Everton are also to believed to have had scouts present at the game, but if either club are of the correct frame of mind, they’ll take Sunderland’s interest in Ilori as fair warning to abandon their pursuits.
An extensive dossier can be complied on the Wearsiders’ recent record of recruiting duds, with their biggest mishaps typically made when looking to bolster their backline.
Ilori, who is yet to kick a ball in the English top flight following his Anfield acquisition from Sporting Lisbon, can be backed at evens to make his Premier League debut next season and it could well be in Sunderland red and white if the north east outfit get their way.
Should this transpire, expect to be entertained by the Portuguese’s numerous misadventures broadcast directly into your living room as he follows in the footsteps of these regrettably recruited centre-backs who graced the Stadium of Light.
There have been instances when the Argentine defender has looked a capable rearguard marshal, but unless he finds a way to consistently match the game’s elite, the thumping volley he scored on an autumnal afternoon at Southampton will forever define his Black Cats career.
Unfortunately for him, the aforementioned first-time strike from outside of the box flew into his own net as the Saints recorded an 8-0 win over Gus Poyet’s men.
The Frenchman, amazingly, proved one of the more successful signings of the calamitous Paolo Di Canio reign, yet his rapid expulsion from the first team following Poyet’s arrival in favour of Carlos Cuellar isn’t exactly a glowing endorsement of his abilities.
Sunderland lost every home league game they picked Roberge for.
Seven games were all the Black Cats could stomach before dispensing with the man they signed on a free from Lazio.
The cumbersome error-magnet was another Di Canio disaster and was promptly ousted upon Poyet’s takeover, who replaced him with a similarly-skilled Liverpool beanpole who can consider himself fortunate not to have his own dedicated sub-heading, Sebastian Coates.