Midfielder unsure on his Sunderland future

El-Hadji Ba in action against Hartlepool United. Picture by FRANK REID
El-Hadji Ba in action against Hartlepool United. Picture by FRANK REID
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EL-HADJI Ba admits he is unsure whether he still has a future at Sunderland.

Midfielder Ba joined French top flight side Bastia on a season-long loan last summer, with a view to a permanent switch, just a year after joining Sunderland from Le Havre.

It depends on what happens over the next few months with the clubs, the negotiations and the coach

El-Hadji Ba

The 22-year-old, who had impressed for Sunderland during pre-season, started seven games for Bastia before breaking his leg last October, which kept him sidelined for six months.

Ba is now back in full training and in contention to feature in the final few games of the French season after spending the first part of his recovery back at the Academy of Light, but says he is in the dark over what lies beyond that.

“I don’t know what is going to happen. In football, you can never fix your plans,” said Ba.

“My main focus has been on recovering from injury.

“If I can play in one or two of the remaining matches and train fully, I will welcome that after my injury.

“Sunderland are a good club and I enjoyed the year I spent there. It went well.

“But it depends on what happens over the next few months with the clubs, the negotiations and the coach.

“I am happy to be back training and playing, and will continue with my rehabilitation plan.”

Ba made a goalscoring debut in last season’s FA Cup third round victory over Carlisle and then started the win over Kidderminster in the following round.

But then head coach Gus Poyet didn’t use Ba during Sunderland’s escape from the drop - the France Under-20 international only making his Premier League bow in the meaningless final day game against Swansea.

“The Premier League is the best competition in the world and as a footballer, you want to play in it,” added Ba to the French media.

“I learned a lot there, with a great experience at a great club.

“The facilities are fantastic and the people are always supportive.

“I worked hard, but unfortunately I couldn’t get back in the team.

“Gus Poyet had not been at the club long, and the first match he gave me, I scored a goal. But then I did not play much more.

“But that was his decision and I always accept the coach’s decision.”