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Brighton writer Andy Naylor: Bridcutt is 'ideal' for Sunderland
7:30pm Friday 31st January 2014 in Sport
Liam Bridcutt has been reunited with former boss Gus Poyet at Sunderland after signing a £2.5m deal on transfer deadline day. Andy Naylor, from our sister newspaper The Brighton Argus, believes Sunderland are gaining a player who is ideally suited to the manager's style of play.
THE key thing here is that Gus Poyet knows him very well. He was initially brought to the club on a short term contract because of an injury to the club's defensive midfielder.
He knew the role from his time at Chelsea working with Claude Makelele and he was developed very specifically for the defensive midfield role, which he does very well.
He has good awareness and keeps it simple. Over the course of the last two seasons he has been outstanding and he's won player of the season in both.
Recently he's had a few injuries and as a result he hasn't had a lot of football this season. As expected when he did come back he looked a little rusty.
Also interesting is that when he did play it wasn't as a defensive midfielder but instead he played in a more advanced midfield position, where he struggled.
Whether he can make the step up only time will tell but obviously Gus thinks that he can play the role better than Lee Cattermole can. I don't think, in the particular role of a defensive midfielder, the change of pace between the two leagues will be an issue.
For a player who's unproven in the Premier League £3m seems a realistic amount and he's a good lad who's very well liked down here and I'm sure he'll fit in the dressing room well.