Who is Diego Contento? Patrick van Aanholt's potential Sunderland replacement profiled

Diego Contento in Champions League action
Diego Contento in Champions League action
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With Patrick van Aanholt set to complete a switch to Crystal Palace, Sunderland are expected to move quickly to secure a replacement.

The Black Cats host Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday night and without the Dutchman, have no senior left-back in their ranks.

Diego Contento is a player we understand is under serious consideration, but just who is he and what is his pedigree?

Here, we profile his career so far for some answers...

First of all, what kind of deal are we looking at?

It's understood that Sunderland would be looking at a loan deal for Contento.

They have considered a number of domestic targets, including Bryan Oviedo and Neil Taylor, but Everton in particular were not receptive to a deal midway through the season.

With Sunderland maxed out on domestic loans, they have looked abroad for a short-term option, which would give them more time to identify a long-term target who fits the profile of the player they are looking for.

No doubt, too, that this also eases the financial pressure somewhat, banking a significant fee and clearing a substantial sum from the wage bill.

The big question is whether Victor Anichebe's injury, a player so key to Moyes' plans to keep Sunderland afloat, has tempted the club into using the van Aanholt money to try and find a striker.

Those will be the developments Sunderland fans are paying close attention to in the coming days.

What has Contento's career been like so far?

The left-back, born in Munich but who has expressed a desire to play for Italy, has a significant honours list.

He was very much an understudy at Bayern Munich, making 69 appearances over a five year spell. In that time, he landed three German League titles, three German cups, a German Supercup, a Champions League, a UEFA Super Cup and a FIFA Club World Cup.

He did play in the Champions League final of 2011/12, the year Chelsea landed a shock win on penalties, but generally speaking was a peripheral figure, used in dead rubber group games or against weaker opposition.

His progress really was hamepered by the emergence of David Alaba, who grew into one of Europe's elite, modern full-backs, dynamic and able to play almost anywhere on the pitch.

At Bordeaux, he has been a much more consistent presence in the first team, and played alongside Wahbi Khazri on a number of occasions.

Would Bordeaux be willing to let him go on loan?

Contento has lost his place in recent weeks, last starting the 4-0 defeat to Montpellier, a game in which Stephane Sessegnon scored.

They have plenty of depth in the left-back department, with Maxime Poundje a natural left-back. Theo Pellenard is another full-back by trade, so they are well covered and so may be receptive to moving one of the three of their wage bill.

What do we know about him as a player?

In truth? Not a great deal.

Five career goals in 181 career appearances suggests a more defensive minded player than van Aanholt, particularly when you consider many of those came in a Bayern side who spend the vast majority of games on the attack.

That will suit Sunderland just fine, who value van Aanholt's attacking verve but feel he has cost them defensively on a number of occasions. Contento is also unlikely to rival van Aanholt for pace and acceleration.

According to whoscored.com, concentration is a key strength, and they rate his performances this season at an average of 6.8 out of 10. Important to note, however, that those ratings tend to be skewed towards 'key' contributions, such as goals, assists or major errors.

What level of performance he can deliver remains something of a mystery at this stage, and it is not yet clear whether he would be seen as first choice, or whether Moyes will move one of his plethora of right-backs to the left for the time being.