David Moyes had Big Sam Allardyce’s shoes to fill when he was appointed manager at Sunderland, and is finding himself neck-deep in a relegation battle after making the worst start to a season in Premier League history, with 8 defeats and 2 draws from the opening 10 games.
It hasn’t gotten much better since, with the Black Cats sitting at the bottom of the table after 22 games with 15 points. However, it’s so congested down there that even a couple of wins could lift them out of the mire. Our fellow SB Nation blog Roker Report does an admirable job covering Sunderland, so check them out.
This year’s Sunderland squad will be very familiar to Everton fans, especially those who remember the Toffees from around the end of the last decade. Jack Rodwell was already on the team when Moyes joined.
During the offseason soon after his appointment, the Scotsman then added Steven Pienaar who was out of contract at Everton. Midfielder Leon Osman, who was also released at the same time, was linked with the club but nothing then came out of that.
Moyes also bolstered his attacking depth adding another former Evertonian, Victor Anichebe from West Bromwich Albion who has scored three times this season so far.
Sunderland are turning into 2008 Everton!— Oddschanger (@Oddschanger) January 24, 2017
Osman and Hibbert next...? #SAFC pic.twitter.com/r0j2hyVKYj
With the onset of the January transfer window, Moyes has struggled to attract more players to his cause, but today made his first signing of the month, picking up another former Everton player, this time Joleon Lescott who last played for AEK Athens in Greece.
Social media is now rife with talk that Darron Gibson is also being linked with a loan move to the Stadium of Light. The former Republic of Ireland international signed a new two-year contract with Everton this summer but has failed to impress Ronald Koeman, playing only 24 minutes for the senior team in the EFL Cup back in August.
Darron Gibson looks set to join Joleon Lescott at Sunderland.— Paddy Power (@paddypower) January 24, 2017
Everton club captain Phil Jagielka has also been mentioned with a move to Sunderland as he has struggled to maintain a starting spot under Koeman. His name was also brought up in a swap deal for Lamine Kone, but little has come from that.
It’s really looking like Moyes is choosing to go with the familiar as he tries to stave off relegation with Sunderland.