Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce has talked up comparisons between new signing Wahbi Khazri and the likes of Youri Djorkaeff and Nigeria’s Jay-Jay Okocha, who played under him during his spell in charge of Bolton Wanderers.
The Black Cats signed Khazri for £9m in January, and he gave a memorable debut as a half-time sub during his side’s 1-0 defeat to Manchester City on Tuesday night.
The 24-year-old’s arrival has been likened in some quarters to Djorkaeff and Okocha joining Bolton, and Allardyce is hopeful that Khazri can have a similar impact in the final third.
“You are going world-class now, man. I’m not sure he’s world-class – if he is, it will be the bargain buy of the century,” Allardyce told reporters.
“One of our problems is we get to the final third fine – we arrived in the final third much more than Manchester City, we produced more in the penalty area than Manchester City did against us – but our quality is the ultimate [problem] in that area.
“It’s the hardest place to produce that quality, so if he’s got that quality in the final third which helps us provide and score more goals, then he’ll be a massive bonus to us – as in the past Youri Djorkaeff particularly, in a similar position, and Jay-Jay Okocha provided in my Bolton time.”
Sunderland are currently battling relegation as they they sit 19th with 19points after 24 matches this season.