IT TOOK Sunderland an exhaustive eight-and-a-half month hunt before they found a proven Premier League striker to replace Darren Bent.
The relief of having a full quota of strikers again hasn’t lasted long, has it?
In just 10 gameless days, Sunderland once more find themselves thrust into limbo by the actions of a mercenary.
No wonder Steve Bruce didn’t mince his words after Saturday’s limp defeat to Chelsea.
It was a familiar, stomach-churning feeling for the Sunderland boss after being left in the lurch by his main striker.
Once more, Sunderland find themselves forced to rely upon youth to provide the cover to their first-choice strikers in the remaining months leading up to the next transfer window.
That nearly resulted in catastrophe in the second half of last season. Given Sunderland’s decidedly mediocre start to this campaign, the cloud of worry hanging over Wearside will only continue to hover unless Bruce’s side can find some quickfire victories.
That the sulking Asamoah Gyan wanted to leave the Stadium of Light hardly came as an earth-shattering surprise.
The Ghanaian had not been in the right frame of mind for months.
The infectious chirpy disposition had gone as had the composure in front of goal, which made the 25-year-old such a dangerous predator, both in the form for his country and during the far-too-brief purple patch for club last winter.
But the timing and destination of Gyan’s exit leaves a sour taste in his mouth, although it’s the same taste to the one sampled in January when Bent was lured by the almighty dollar.
READ the full verdict in Monday’s Echo