Rowell Report: Rodwell can be a real star at Sunderland

Ex-Sunderland footballer Gary Rowell
Ex-Sunderland footballer Gary Rowell
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GUS POYET has had mixed fortunes with his two main big-money transfer targets in this window.

Jack Rodwell is in the bag with a five-year contract, but the Fabio Borini deal has dragged on for weeks now and must be frustrating for the Sunderland head coach.

Rodwell, though, is an exciting signing which has captured the imagination of the fans, as he is young, talented and at just 23, his best years are still ahead of him.

What I really like about this signing though is that he comes to Sunderland with a point to prove.

His big money move to Man City didn’t work out and his lack of games has seen his career stall.

He has enormous potential, but it’s crucial he can stay injury-free and play week-in, week-out because only then can that potential be fulfilled and I want to see that happen in a red and white shirt.

THREE players from last year’s squad who also have a point to prove are Jozy Altidore, Emanuele Giaccherini and Steven Fletcher.

All three under-achieved last year and they will feel they owe the club and the fans a better season this time around.

Altidore and Giaccherini were last summer’s marquee signings, but both struggled and failed to live up to the height.

Giaccherini showed flashes of his ability, but was nowhere near consistent enough, while Altidore lost confidence due to a lack of goals and ended the season as an impact sub.

Fletcher was different to the other two in that, yes he under-performed, but he never looked fully fit and it’s difficult to show your best form when you’re not at your physical peak.

So three experienced players, all full internationals, who will know they must produce more than they did last year.