Sunderland V Tottenham Hotspur at Stadium of Light : Match Preview

30 January 2017
Sunderland V Tottenham Hotspur - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Sunderland boss Moyes admits to taking transfer gamble on Oviedo and Gibson

Sunderland boss David Moyes has admitted he has taken a series of gambles after deciding to sell wantaway defender Patrick van Aanholt to fund a mini-recruitment drive.

As the Dutch full-back completed a move to Crystal Palace, which could eventually see the Black Cats collect B#14million, Everton duo Bryan Oviedo and Darron Gibson were on Wearside to join former Toffees team-mates Joleon Lescott, Victor Anichebe and Steven Pienaar, who had earlier answered Moyes' call to arms.

Costa Rica international full-back Oviedo has signed a three-and-a-half-year deal and Republic of Ireland midfielder Gibson has penned a contract lasting for 18 months.

Van Aanholt's decision to hand in a transfer request gave Moyes a decision to make and, with funds limited and the club's wage ceiling perilously close, he rather than chairman Ellis Short decided to sell.

"I thought it was a good deal, but I have got to say, it was solely my decision," Moyes said, ahead of Sunderland's clash with high-flying Tottenham in the Premier League on Tuesday evening.

"It wasn't Ellis' decision, it was my decision to sell Patrick, so if anybody thinks it was because Ellis was wanting money, it was far from that.

"There are several reasons for it, but one of the main ones was that I felt that it would allow me to bring in other players. Because of the level of the wages, the sale meant that I had opened up the ceiling, which allowed me to maybe get some players in."

Van Aanholt's determination to head for Selhurst Park meant a change of focus for Sunderland, who had not initially included a left-back on their shopping list.

Moyes admitted: "I have known for a while what Pat's thoughts were, but it was always going to be difficult getting a replacement, that was the thing.

"We had an idea of some players which we might be looking at if we could do anything in January and one of them wasn't necessarily a left-back, so when this came in it turned it up a wee bit."

Moyes will be without Papy Djilobodji for Tottenham's visit to the Stadium of Light due to suspension but new signing Lescott could be included while defender Lamine Kone and midfielder Didier Ndong have returned from the African Nations Cup.

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has stressed the importance of his side's must-win trip to Sunderland as the north London club bid to keep the pressure on Premier League leaders Chelsea.

Spurs, who are nine points adrift of their London rivals, head to the north-east to face Moyes' troubled team on the back of a seven-match unbeaten league run.

Chelsea will travel to Liverpool in what is likely to be a tricky test for Antonio Conte's side. Spurs meanwhile, will be expected to take all three points from a Sunderland outfit rooted to the foot of the table.

"For me every game is important in the Premier League and we are in a position where it's important to get the three points," Pochettino said.

"It's a tough game because Sunderland need points, too and always it's tough to play in the Premier League but our objective is to get the three points to be close to the top, to keep our position, and maybe improve.

"The three points are important for them but they are very important for us, and we have to be aware of the pressure that we need to win, because at the end of the season we need to fight for big things.

"It will bring us the possibility to improve our position and to be nearer the top of the table. So, it is a very important game."

Harry Kane will return for Tottenham after missing the win over Wycombe but is fit and available for Pochettino.

Toby Alderweireld (hamstring) and Danny Rose (knee), both absent for the FA Cup clash, are also set to start.

Kieran Trippier will be unavailable after sustaining a knock against Wycombe while Jan Vertonghen (ankle) and Erik Lamela (hip) are still out.

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