Sunderland have undergone somewhat of a transformation so far this summer with new manager Paulo Di Canio ordering a complete reshuffle of the player staff at the Stadium of Light with the club announcing eight new signings and eight departures already. Juventus’ hard working, industrious attacking midfielder Emanuele Giaccherini is expected to be confirmed as the Wearside club’s ninth summer signing in the coming hours after it was confirmed that a fee rumoured to be just under £9million had been agreed between the two clubs.
Twenty eight year old Giaccherini will be most recently remembered for his hardworking displays with the Italian national team at this summer’s Confederations Cup in Brazi,l with the attacking midfielder illustrating his desire to run himself into the ground for the cause, despite this he still found it difficult to have a real impact on matches due to his inability to forge a partnership with lone central forward Mario Balotelli. Giaccherini will have no such difficulty at Sunderland with English supporters likely to take to his incredibly high work rate which will complement the style of Danny Graham up front who prefers to feed off the hard work of attacking midfielders and get himself into scoring positions within the penalty area.
Juventus manager Antonio Conte this morning spoke to Italian media about Giaccherini and admitted his disappointment at losing a player of Emanuele’s quality, “I’m not happy with the sale of Giaccherini but in times of crisis when you buy must also make sacrifices.” It is believed Juventus were forced into the sale of Giaccherini in order to fund their most recently completed move for central defender Angelo Ogbonna.
With Sunderland likely to lose Stephane Sessegnon this summer with the player reportedly desperate for a move away for the North East club, the signing of Emanuele Giaccherini will significantly lessen the blow the departure of the Benin international would deal. Giaccherini is very similar to Sessegnon in terms of the energy he provides in the final third with both players having a very low centre of gravity which allows for a quick, sharp turn of pace to go past a defender. Giaccherini will not be able to reproduce the moments of pure quality that Sessegnon has wowed Sunderland supporters with over the course of the past two and a half seasons but there is no questioning the Italian’s creativity with Giaccherini having registered three assists for Juventus last term.
According to statistics provided by Who Scored Giaccherini completed 88% of his 636 passes in Serie A last season in 17 appearances of which one of those was a man of the match performance. Giaccherini also boasted a record of providing on average 1.9 key passes per game.
Giaccherini was never going to be one of Juventus’ leading stars with Giovinco, Marchisio, Vucinic and now Llorente and Tevez ahead of him in Conte’s plans and the Italian would always find himself as a backup option. Giaccherini in moving to Sunderland will find himself much more of a permanent fixture in the Black Cats’ side and may well find himself playing in a more central role as Sessegnon did, which could allow a partnership to be formed with Adam Johnson on the left hand side. Giaccherini would utilise his energy and work rate as well as sizeable dribbling ability to really put pressure on an opposition’s central half and full back which would create gaps for either Danny Graham or Adam Johnson to run into just behind the defensive line. This is where Giaccherini could be most effective for Sunderland as Di Canio looks to take the side away from relying on Sessegnon for creativity to a much more rounded, reliable attacking unit.
It is believed Giaccherini was initially set on staying with Juventus but upon hearing the club’s need to raise funds by selling the former Cesena midfielder, the player has agreed to join Sunderland on a contract which reportedly doubles the wage he was on with the Turin club. This continues the considerable amount of money spent by Sunderland thus far this summer with the Wearsiders clearly looking to take advantage of the significant money brought to each club as a result of Sky Sports most recent television deal with the Barclays Premier League.
Huddlestone to Join
Sunderland have also today reached an agreement with Tottenham Hotspur for the transfer of holding midfielder Tom Huddlestone with the two clubs reportedly settling upon £5million for the player. Huddlestone will add an element of ‘bite’ to a midfield which certainly lacked strength last year when Lee Cattermole was missing through both injury and suspension. Huddlestone was a key member of Andre Villas-Boas’ midfield at Tottenham last season but following the arrival of Paulinho it is unlikely he would get too much game time at White Hart Lane this season. Sunderland will welcome a player with experience at the highest level to their midfield with it being one of their areas for concern last year with Jack Colback often having to leave his position in midfield to play at left back. Huddlestone joins Sunderland on the back of a moderately successful season at Tottenham last year with the English midfielder boasting an impressive record of a sixty seven percent tackle success rate from the defensive midfield position.
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