Rumour Mill-Russell Anderson
Owen Coyle has made no secret that he would like to sign loan defender, Russell Anderson on a permanent basis from Sunderland.
Anderson started his career with Aberdeen in 1996 and was eventually made club captain before departing the club for Sunderland in June 2007 in a £1 million transfer. He had played 280 times for the Dons even scoring 18 goals.
He made just one appearance for the Black Cats and in February 2008, Anderson joined Plymouth Argyle on loan until the end of the 2007/08 season making 14 appearances for the Devon club.
The 30 year old Scottish International was then signed on loan by Owen Coyle in August 2008 until the end of the 2008/09 season.
After playing just four games for the Clarets and looking impressive in the back four, tragedy struck in our Carling Cup game against Fulham at Turf Moor last September with the defender picking up a cruciate ligament injury that has since kept him out all season.
Towards the end of the season though, Anderson returned to training and has often been seen on the pitch warming up with the lads most notably at Wembley last Monday in the play-offs final. He was also seen celebrating with them on the pitch after their memorable 1-0 victory over the Blades and their return to the top flight for the first time since 1976.
There is no doubt Owen Coyle wants to sign the player, he has made not so subtle hints all season and it looks like Anderson would also relish playing for the Clarets, even more so now I guess after making it to the Premier League.
He is reported in the media recently as saying:
'The lads have been great, it's an easy changing room to integrate into, the manager obviously wants those sorts of characters. I've really enjoyed my time here, I would like to come back, but it's up to the people who make the decisions. Fingers crossed.'
The Guardian newspaper this week suggested that Coyle is looking to sign the player for a fee which should not be more than £300,000 although that figure is somewaht short of the £1 million estimate that Sunderland put on the player some months back. With the Black Cats just surviving the drop down into the Championship and undergoing managerial changes, there is likely to be major changes in the squad for next season so Sunderland could be tempted to accept a lower offer for the 30 year old.
A decision though is no doubt going to be delayed until Sunderland have sorted out a new manager. The latest news on that front is that Wigan chairman Dave Whelan has allowed Steve Bruce to speak to Sunderland about the vacancy at the Stadium of Light.
So Coyle may have to have a word with Bruce in due course.
Would a 30 year old with virtually no experience of playing at the top level of European football be able to hack it in the Premier League? A similar question could also be posed about former loan defender, Rhys Williams, another of Coyle's reported targets.
I guess the answer is yes to both if Owen Coyle signs them. Who could argue with Owen Coyle's decisions at the moment following the success he has brought to our club?