MARTIN O’NEILL hasn’t yet signed up Danny Rose like the supporters continually tell him to do – but yesterday he was more than happy to talk up his on-loan star.
The Sunderland fans have been kind enough to let the manager know of their desire for the Tottenham man to sign a permanent deal with the Black Cats.
They chant for O’Neill to “sign him up” at every game, and who can blame them.
Rose has been a superb addition to Sunderland’s team whether at left-back or in a more forward role, where he has been asked to play in recent matches to great effect.
The 22-year-old is strong, brave and he possesses a delicate touch in his left foot. What’s not to like?
It’s just a shame he’s a Spurs player.
O’Neill said: “Danny has played very well and is enjoying it here. In terms of fitness he is getting there and has played a number of consecutive games, which is great for him, and the crowd clearly have enjoyed having here.
“I first saw him when he played for Tottenham, against Aston Villa, in what would be the under-21 league at that particular time. You could see he had talent, but what he needed was a run of games.
“He actually played some games at the end of last season, but he was competing against Benoit Assou-Ekoto at Spurs so it was going to be difficult for him.
“There are parts of his game he needs to improve on, by that I mean defensively, but particularly when he is dealing one-on-one with a player, I always feel he is going to get the upper hand. He is very strong.”
A concern for O’Neill is that Rose could leave the club next month if Tottenham decide to take him back.
However, Rose and Sunderland seem a perfect fit – for a season at least – and the hope is he will stick around until May.
O’Neill said: “Spurs do have the ability to recall him in January and if that’s the case so be it.
“He is very pleased with his performances and enjoying it immensely, and the reaction of crowd suggests they like him.