Jack Rodwell has ended his two-year nightmare spell at the Etihad Stadium after completing a £10million move to Sunderland on Tuesday afternoon.
Once regarded as one of the brightest stars of the English game, Manchester City paid £12million for the midfield player during the summer transfer window of 2012. However, he naturally found it difficult to dislodge the likes of Yaya Toure and, last season, Fernandinho from the first team, whilst a further £12million has been spent this summer on Porto star Fernando.
Rodwell was also blighted by a persistent hamstring problem upon his move from Everton, and he was restricted to 16 Premier League appearances during his time in Manchester, of which just seven came from a starting berth. The 23-year-old, though, remains a player of huge potential, and he is now hoping to reignite his career on Wearside under the guidance of Gus Poyet after signing a five-year contract with Sunderland.
“I met up with the head coach and all the people involved with the club,” said Rodwell, who won the last of his three international caps for England a little over 14 months ago when he replaced Theo Walcott in a 2-2 draw with Brazil. “They told me about the club and their vision and it swayed me. It’s such a good club with passionate fans and I can’t wait to get on board. This is a great place for me to be.”
Although paying £10million for a player who has spent a large portion of the past two years either on the treatment table or kicking his heels on the bench may be considered a gamble, there is no doubt that this could prove to be money well spent if Rodwell can live up the potential he showed during his time at Goodison Park when he was backed to be a regular for the national side.
He will also have a familiar face at the Stadium of Light in Adam Johnson who, like Rodwell, was forced to abandon his ambition of playing a key role for City after failing to establish himself in their first team. The former Middlesbrough winger spent 18 months at the Etihad Stadium before returning to his native North East in January 2012, since when he has impressed for the Black Cats.
Rodwell will also link up at Sunderland with former City goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon, who joined on a free transfer earlier this summer. Poyet has also added defenders Billy Jones and Patrick van Aanholt from West Bromwich Albion and Chelsea respectively, and midfielder Jordi Gomez has signed from Wigan Athletic. The Uruguayan coach remains hopeful of persuading striker Fabio Borini, who enjoyed a loan spell at the club last season, to sign from Liverpool in a £14million deal.