Sam Allardyce left frustrated as double exit are only Sunderland business

Sunderland's deadline day business was limited to outgoings after Steven Fletcher and Jordi Gomez both exited the Stadium of Light on loan.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 2nd February 2016, 6:56 am
Steven Fletcher
Steven Fletcher

The Black Cats had been hoping to bring in one more recruit before the transfer window closed after splashing out more than £15million on the five additions to Sam Allardyce’s squad during January.

But after enquiries for defenders Micah Richards and Mathieu Debuchy – who eventually joined Bordeaux on loan – came to nothing, Sunderland opted against bringing in any further recruits for the sake of it in the final hours of the window.

There were two notable departures before the deadline though, as Allardyce continued to offload those on the fringes of the first-team picture that were considered surplus to requirements.

Fletcher agreed a loan move to French side Marseille until the summer, with the prospect of the Scotland international remaining in Ligue 1 if he impresses over the the next four months.

With Fletcher’s Sunderland contract expiring at the end of the season, the move effectively ends the ex-Wolves man’s spell at the Stadium of Light - three-and-a-half years after he arrived in a £12million deal.

The 28-year-old had not featured for Sunderland in the Premier League in 2016, with Sam Allardyce boosting his attacking options with the signing of on-loan Trabzonspor striker Dame N’Doye.

However, Fletcher - who trained with Sunderland yesterday morning - had been expected to stay at the club until the summer, with Celtic eyeing a Bosman move for the ex-Wolves man.

But after Marseille reached an agreement over Fletcher’s wages for the remainder of the campaign, the Black Cats sanctioned the exit of a player who netted 23 goals in 94 Premier League appearances in red and white.

Fletcher told the French media: “The team I played for back in England have a lot of French players, like Yann M’Vila, who have told me a lot about it.

“I’m looking forward to playing.”

Gomez then joined Championship Blackburn on loan until the end of the season, to reunite with Danny Graham at Ewood Park.

Sunderland frontman Graham was signed by Blackburn on loan a fortnight ago and Gomez followed suit after Paul Lambert’s side had seen their bank balance boosted by the £11million sale of Jordan Rhodes to Middlesbrough.

Gomez – who has another 18 months to run on his Sunderland contract – hadn’t appeared in the Black Cats squad throughout 2016, with Allardyce making it clear that the ex-Wigan man was free to leave.