Sunderland new boy aiming to tie down regular place

Donald Love is determined to make the right-back spot at Sunderland his own - as David Moyes targets further signings.

Tuesday, 16th August 2016, 5:46 am
Donald Love
Donald Love

The 21-year-old - who arrived from Manchester United along with Paddy McNair for a combined £5.5million fee - was thrown straight in for his debut against Manchester City.

With Raheem Sterling, Nolito and David Silva to contend with, it was always going to be a tough ask.

After a nervy start, Love grew into the game and he is now looking to make the right-back spot his own, with Billy Jones out with a hip injury.

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Moyes is still looking to boost his full-back options, with former Liverpool and Real Madrid right-back Alvaro Arbeloa the latest linked.

Love, though, is determined to keep his place having moved for regular first team football.

“Yes, you never know but I want to keep playing games for Sunderland and doing well,” said Love.

“Hopefully I have done okay to stay in the team.

“I want to show the fans what I can do, hopefully they like that and I just want to play as many games as possible.

“It was a tough debut against Raheem Sterling - he is rapid!

“He did me once with pace but it was a great learning experience.

“It was good that the manager has put his faith in me and I just want to do well for the team, we battled well and were unlucky with the own goal at the end.

“I was knackered at the end but we knew what was coming.

“There was a couple of boos [from the Manchester City fans] but I would expect that.”

Love is following in the footsteps of several players who have made the switch from Old Trafford to Wearside.

He added: “I know the history with the likes of Wes Brown, Phil Bardsley and Sheasy - who is obviously still here.

“There are a lot of players that have come here and done well and I want to carry on that tradition and help the club move forward.

“It is good that the manager will put his faith in youngsters and if you do that, then they will go out there and give everything for him.

“That spirit can keep us together and hopefully you never know what will happen if we start winning games and get on a run,” added Love, who is set for increased competition at full-back.

Moyes expects to be busy in the transfer market with defence, midfield and attack all in need of strengthening.

“I have to be, I don’t have enough. There are areas I need to fill in,” said Moyes.

“I’m working as hard as I can, I am trying to build a team but also want to try and give the young boys an opportunity to play if we can do that.”

Sunderland have been linked with a move for Torino right-back Davide Zappacosta, while Arbeloa, 33, is available on a free transfer.

The Spanish international, who has played 56 times for his country, has previously been linked with Newcastle United.
Rafa Benitez signed Arbeloa for Liverpool in 2007, with the defender spending two years on Merseyside before moving to Real Madrid in the summer of 2009.