Saturday, August 17, 2019

Big Sam reunited with bargain Diouf

Blackburn gaffer Sam Allardyce has pounced to reunite himself with Sunderland forward El-Hadji Diouf for a bargain £2million.

Allardyce spent three years with Diouf at Bolton, where the Senegal international was a huge hit and the Rovers boss is sure he can get the best out of the 28-year-old once again.

Diouf signed for Sunderland in July 2008 after Bolton agreed to a transfer fee of £2.6million, but things haven’t quite gone according to plan on Wearside with the playmaker starting 13 games this term without scoring a goal.

Still Black Cats boss Ricky Sbragia earlier this month revealed his determination to keep the player, who was signed by Liverpool in 2002 for £10million.

But Allardyce was determined to get his man and said: “He is a talented player. He can be a little wayward, as everybody knows, but hopefully I’ll be able to control him as much as I did when I was at Bolton.

“In the time I spent with him we always finished in the top half of the Premier League, no lower than eighth, and we played in Europe.

“Hopefully he can bring his ability, his trickery to Ewood Park, and delight some of the Blackburn fans.

“Knowing him as long as I have, and understanding his personality, means I probably will put up with more than most managers would.

“I won’t be soft. I can be as hard as I need to be, but I can be encouraging, reminding him of the things he needs to do, not just on the field, but off it,” added Allardyce.

It might well take the Rovers fans time to take to Diouf considering his antics against the Lancashire side in the past.

Diouf has always been jeered whenever he has faced Rovers, stemming back to an incident four years ago when he dived to win a penalty for Bolton in a game at Ewood Park.

However, a string of good performances and a handful of goals will have the Ewood Park crowd back on his side as the club aim to fight their way away from the relegation zone.

Rovers, who are priced at 6.2 for the drop in the Premier League betting, are in need of a few quick wins and Diouf could prove to be an inspired signing by Allardyce.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Phil Tomlinson


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