Martin Smith

Smith on new signings

Published:
by Stuart Vose

Former star on N'Diaye and Mangane.

Martin Smith believes Martin O’Neill’s decision to add height and power to his squad will serve the Sunderland boss well.

O’Neill has been active in the January transfer window, adding midfielder Alfred N’Diaye and defender Kader Mangane to his squad.

My first impressions of Alfred are that he looks like a very good athlete who gets around the park well

- Martin Smith

Both men stand at over six feet tall, with Mangane clocking in at a towering 6’5”.

N’Diaye, who joined Sunderland from Turkish side Bursaspor, has already seen match action as a late substitute in the recent win over West Ham.

“They are big lads and the manager has obviously gone with a bit more power and height,” said Smith, who made 143 appearances for Sunderland between 1992 and 1999.

“My first impressions of Alfred are that he looks like a very good athlete who gets around the park well. I’m hoping he’ll be a good one.”

Meanwhile Mangane has arrived on loan from Saudi Arabian outfit Al Hilal, whom he joined from Rennes last year.

“Coming over from the Middle East, the weather might be a bit of a culture shock but I’m sure he’ll be alright once he settles in,” Smith added.

“Again, Kader is a big lad who has some real size about him. He looks like he could be a threat in the opposing penalty area too.

“If you look at a lot of the other sides in the league, you’ve got to say it’s important to have some physically big players.”