Sunderland’s transfer window signings Jan Kirchhoff, Wahbi Khazri and Lamine Kone have been a “mini-miracle” for his side’s survival hopes, Sam Allardyce believes.
With four games to play, Sunderland are out of the relegation zone after losing just one of their last seven matches, with Allardyce’s side travelling to Stoke City on Saturday.
Kirchhoff, Khazri and Kone have all made a positive impact for Sunderland, along with fellow transfer window arrival Dame N’Doye, and Allardyce said he has been surprised by their form.
“I never expected me to be playing Kone, Kirchhoff and Wahbi every week, and on some occasions Dame N’Doye as well,” he said.
“It’s almost been a mini-miracle that they have come from abroad. Kirchhoff had hardly played for eight to nine months at Bayern Munich and Dame was bombed out in Turkey for some reason.”
Successive clean sheets have lifted Sunderland out of the bottom three and Allardyce rates his mid-season signings highly, with Kirchhoff, Kone and Khazri all starting Sunderland’s last 10 fixtures.
“Kone had been playing very, very well at Lorient and Wahbi had been doing the same at Bordeaux, so the likelihood was that those two would be alright straightaway,” Allardyce said.
“But the other two hadn’t had many games, so for them to all catch up and be as good as they have has been one of the main reasons why we’ve been as good as we have.”