Free agent Saha announced on his official Twitter account early this morning that he was on his way to Sunderland to discuss a potential move but should Sunderland fans be as excited as the player himself seemed to be?
There's no doubt Sunderland are in need of a striker to strengthen their forward-line and have been ever since Darren Bent left the Stadium of Light for Aston Villa in January 2011. This was the second of a mass exodus of strikers from the club after Kenwyne Jones left for Stoke City in the summer of 2010, Danny Welbeck returned to Manchester United after a loan-spell and Asamoah Gyan joined United Arab Emirates club, Al Ain on a season-long loan before making the deal permanent in July. Last season they had Nicklas Bendtner on-loan from Arsenal but after only managing eight goals, has returned to North London is close to joining Italian club AC Milan.
You cannot ignore the talents of both Fraizer Campbell and Connor Wickham but after both enduring lay-offs with injuries, the two only managed two goals between them in the Premier League last season. Then there is South Korean centre-forward, Dong-Won Ji who scored two goals of his own (one of which a last-gasp winner at home to Manchester City) so he's also yet to set the world alight in the North-East.
So what about Saha? The Frenchman first played in England on loan at Sunderland's rivals Newcastle. But it was at Fulham where really excelled and made a name for himself scoring over 60 goals during a four-year spell. Manchester United then swooped for the striker in the January transfer window of 2004, paying £12.8 million for hi services. Saha's career at Old Trafford started well after he scored on his debut against Southampton and then went on to total seven goals from 10 starts for the Red Devils.
The following season was a stop-start one for Saha as he suffered injury after injury and although he temporary rediscovered his form after returning to fitness, the following seasons would see Saha spend even more time on the sidelines - something which was more than frustrating for manager Sir Alex Ferguson, the fans and obviously the player himself. Saha had more than proven he could cut it at a top-club and although his time in Manchester was marred with constant injury, he still managed to total 42 goals in all competitions in 120 appearances for the club.
David Moyes then took Saha to Goodison Park in 2008, with the player signing a two-year 'pay-as-you-play' deal. Saha scored the fastest goal in FA Cup Final history in 2009 as his 25 second strike gave Everton the lead before they eventually lost 2-1 to Chelsea. The 2009-10 season saw the striker enjoy a run of seven goals in seven games and after finishing the season with 13, signed a two-year extension to his contract.
The next season would see Saha score his first hat-trick in English football but injury would then return to haunt him. In his last season at the Merseyside club, Saha would go 942 minutyes without a goal before leaving the club with a total of 35 goals in 115 appearances for the Toffees.
A six-month spell at Tottenham followed for the former Manchester United man as he joined them on a free transfer. After only managing four goals in his time there, Saha spoke of his desire to secure a long-term deal at the club. The man who brought him in, Harry Redknapp, was sacked in June and a month later, Saha was released after his short contract expired.
If Louis Saha can stay fit, he will score goals. If he can recapture the form he showed at Old Trafford and in spells at Everton that he will be a good signing for Sunderland. The club have a lack of fire-power up-front but Saha could be the man about to solve that issue. If he does start banging them in for the Black Cats and his former club Spurs, who are also very short up top, do not buy another striker before the transfer window closes in 15 days time then they will be regretting they let him go.
Is Saha a good signing? What do you think?
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