With deadline day nearly upon us we ponder on where Danny Graham will be plying his trade for the rest of the season. The Swansea striker has had a stuttering season so far with the arrival of the prolific Michu; So should he stay or should he go?
Let's take a look at his situation in Wales first. The 27 year old former Watford man arrived in Wales just over 18 months ago to help Swansea City stay in the Premier League. For a newcomer to the Premier League Graham performed quite well as he scored a goal every 3 games and with over 10 goals in his first Premier League season is what Swansea needed to survive. However this season, competition for places grew and they grew significantly. Brendan Rodgers moved on to Liverpool meaning a new manager was needed and with a new manager comes a new wave of players.
Michael Laudrup brought in several players from Spain which is a market he knows all too well. Graham was bought for £3.5 million and when you compare that to Michu's you know why. Michu had a price tag of a meer £2 million and half way through the season he has already bettered Graham's goal tally from last year by 4. Now this may be down to the other new players or even Laudrup's managerial style but what ever it is, Graham is not playing.
3 goals in 15 games this season (mostly substitute appearances) in the Premier League is not what you would expect for his second season but that is because he is not playing. When you have the potential to be playing for England but you are sitting on the bench, it will not bode well with Graham. Now it appears he may have handed a transfer request...
So why does he want to move? Well it is easy to see he is not a lazy footballer and he will put a shift in for his team unfortunately he cannot do this by sitting on the bench, he wants to play. You can tell that he is not motivated by money but by playing the game and by this you can tell he is from the North East. It is well regarded as the most passionate footballing region in England even though the teams in the region are not the most successful in England.
I think it is this passion which drives Graham to play and that is motivating him to move from Swansea. The odds on favorites to sign the former Middlesbrough youngster are their rivals Sunderland, a club who Graham has previously stated that he would 'stay as far away from Sunderland' as he could. Now I'm sure no Sunderland fan who has seen the infamous interview will view it with pleasure but more with disgust.
Geordie's playing for Sunderland do seem to work though up until either they have to play against their beloved Newcastle United or become unhappy at the club. I expect Graham to be a little different though, he appears to have his head screwed on and I'm sure he would succeed in the famous red and white of Sunderland. Players it turned sour for include Michael Chopra who sadly bottled a shot against Newcastle that could have helped Sunderland win the game! Also there is Lee Clark but the less said about that the better!
If Danny Graham wants to come to the North East and Sunderland in particular to prove himself and for 'personal reasons I think many fans will be delighted. I don't think it's really a problem where you're from or who you support after all, the man who provided the greatest achievement in Sunderland history was a Geordie. They even made a statue of him and placed him out side the Stadium of Light!