Sunderland manager David Moyes has rejected criticism that he is signing too many Everton old boys as he tries to engineer the Black Cats’ escape from Premier League relegation.
Moyes offloaded defender Patrick Van Aanholt to Crystal Palace for £12 million earlier this week before bringing in Bryan Oviedo and Darron Gibson from his old club on Monday.
The signings bring the number of old Evertonians Moyes has signed at the Stadium of Light to six out of the eight players he has brought in since taking over in the summer, following the acquisition of Joleon Lescott on a free transfer earlier this month.
The trio also join former Toffees Adnan Januzaj, Donald Love, and Paddy McNair in the Sunderland ranks but Moyes has rejected criticism of his policy of favouring players he has previously worked with.
Has anyone told David Moyes that he's allowed to sign players that don't play for Everton? ?
— Ryan Cottingham (@ryancottingham) January 30, 2017
— Ian Foley (@scouserfoley) January 30, 2017
“I’ve tried for one or two others, so to say I’m only going for players I know is not true,” said Moyes, who has also teamed up again with Jack Rodwell, a player he sold to Manchester City for £14m while at Goodison Park. “It’s actually the players who have been available and have said, “Yeah, I’ll have a go at that.”
“We tried for the boy at Norwich (Robbie Brady) and he said ‘no’. There were others as well.
“But the advantage of signing players I’ve worked with before is that I know what I’m getting. I know what they’ll do and their characters more than anything.
“They trust me and they know the way I manage and the way I work. They will know what to expect. Sometimes for them, that makes the move easier. I hope it shows,” he said.
“Bryan Oviedo’s not British but he’s got Premier League experience. I’m trying to bring people who know what the games are going to be like. Darron Gibson is a good passer, a good footballer, he’s got really good qualities and I hope he’ll show that, I really do.
“You could say, ‘did I really work with Paddy McNair and Donald Love?’ They were in the academy. But I trust the people who recommended them and said they will be great boys with a future.
“You can spin it around but we’ve ended up like this by design, it’s by availability. We don’t have much time, so we needed the boys to come in [and be ready.]
“Bryan is relatively fit, he’s been on the bench for Everton. He could do two or three jobs if I needed him to, but, ultimately, he’s coming in to be a left-back. Gibbo’s had problems but he’s okay. He gives us a bit of stability and Britishness.
“When you sign players you never know if it will make a difference, but I believe in time they will make a difference because of their type and their attitude. I do believe we will be stronger on February 1st than we were on January 1st.”