Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

N'Diaye's Patience Rewarded by O'Neill; N'DIAYE'S PATIENCE IS FINALLY REWARDED BY O'NEILL

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

N'Diaye's Patience Rewarded by O'Neill; N'DIAYE'S PATIENCE IS FINALLY REWARDED BY O'NEILL

Article excerpt

Byline: Stuart Rayner ? (0191) 201-6283 ? stuart.rayner@ncjmedia.co.uk

SUNDERLAND's Alfred N'Diaye was determined not to miss out on a "dream" move to the Premier League, even if it meant waiting five months for it to come about.

Manager Martin O'Neill first watched the combative midfielder in a Europa League qualifier in August. But with the transfer window about to close and Bursaspor reluctant to sell, N'Diaye was made to sweat on joining what he believes is "the best league in the world".

Fortunately for the 22-year-old Parisian, O'Neill continued to monitor the progress of a player he has since admitted did not exactly win him over at first sight, and a near-PS4m transfer was completed this month.

N'Diaye has revealed he had to dig his heels in a little to make Bursaspor reluctantly accept Sunderland's offer.

"Sunderland were interested in me in August but it was maybe the 27th or 28th and my club in Turkey were playing in the Europa League against Twente (in a qualifying game for the group stages) so they didn't want to sell me," N'Diaye recalled. "It wasn't possible at that time.

"After that Sunderland watched me for another four or five months playing in Turkey and came back in for me in January. Still Bursaspor didn't want to sell me but I was determined to go this time. To play in England was my dream."

It reflects well on N'Diaye that he did not take the route some want-away players do when told to honour their contract, and force their hand with some lacklustre performances. Instead, hoping Sunderland would keep an eye on him, the former France Under- 21 captain resolved to earn his move with the quality of his performances in Turkey. "When Bursaspor said I couldn't go (in August) I wasn't happy," he said. "But in my head I decided I'd try to play really well for six months, and not think about it. …

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