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Moyes 'gambles' on Gibson

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Sunderland manager David Moyes Photo: PA News

Sunderland manager David Moyes Photo: PA News

Sunderland manager David Moyes Photo: PA News

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 £14m, 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.

Ireland midfielder Gibson signed an 18-month contract while Costa Rican full-back Oviedo has signed a three-and-a-half-year deal.

"I thought it was a good deal, but I have got to say, it was solely my decision," Moyes said. "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."

The cash raised by Van Aanholt's departure allowed Moyes to return to snap up direct replacement Oviedo and experienced midfielder Gibson. The 29-year-old Irish man has managed just 69 senior appearances in his five years on Merseyside but insists he's ready to help Sunderland in their relegation fight.

"Think it's time I started playing some games. I've had a difficult couple of years but I'm ready for the challenge. I understand it's going to be tough," Gibson said. "I've been fit for a long time, but I've not played a lot of games, but I'm not far off, it won't take me long to get going."

Moyes, whose side face Spurs tonight, said: "Every player who is coming into Sunderland is a bit of a gamble. I don't think we could get an absolute nailed-on player, I don't think that's the case."

Irish Independent