TRANSFER DEADLINE DAY: It’s quiet in the North East

Steve Bruce is aware of the challenge Arsenal will pose this weekend.
Steve Bruce is aware of the challenge Arsenal will pose this weekend.
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STEVE Bruce said he was hoping for a quiet and uneventful January, vowing not to disrupt his ever-improving squad.

Yet the Sunderland manager must be scratching his head over what has happened in the past month, as the revolving door has been in full swing at the Stadium of Light, with fans being treated to a turbulent month.

Undoubtedly, the biggest transfer story was the shock departure of Darren Bent. Last season’s top scorer burnt his bridges with Sunderland fans when he opted to join a struggling Aston Villa side for £24 million.

However, Bruce didn’t wait long to spend his part of the transfer fee by capturing PSG playmaker Stephane Sessegnon on a three-year deal and Sulley Muntari on loan. The Black Cats have also been heavily linked with Stoke’s Ricardo Fuller, but a deal for the striker is dependent on his fitness.

Bruce has also shipped out some of his fringe players, waving goodbye to David Healy, Paulo Da Silva, while midfielder Andy Reid also looks set for pastures new at Blackpool.

It’s been a quiet month for Sunderland’s North East rivals: Newcastle have secured the services of Hatem Ben Arfa on a permanent deal and look odds-on to land midfielder Stephen Ireland on loan. But the Tyneside club are dogged by rumours that Andy Carroll will be leaving for Liv rpool or even Tottenham.

In the Championship, Middlesbrough have lost two of their prize assets with Gary O’Neil and David Wheater who have returned to

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