Let's get ready to Mundle - What Sunderland can expect from next January transfer swoop

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Romaine Mundle is expected to complete a move to Wearside in the coming days.

Let's get ready ready, let's get ready ready, let's get ready to Mundle! Tuesday was something of a rollercoaster for the emotionally bedraggled folk of Wearside. We have Amad Diallo, and a ceaseless convoy of speculating journalists, both local and international, to thank for that.

At one stage, it truly looked as if Amad might become A-mackem once more. Cue the meltdown. The Ivorian and his rampant thumbs got to liking some comments on social media that suggested he was discontented with his current situation at Manchester United, and that he would be open to the prospect of a return to the Stadium of Light in the dying embers of this drab January transfer window. When renowned in-the-know scribbler Captain Fishpaste (presumably not his real name) dropped an exclusive echoing those exact sentiments, everyone within a ten-mile radius of Penshaw Monument was sent into a state of hysterical stupor. It did not last.

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Soon omniscient transfer oracle Fabrizio Romano, like an Italian Grinch with a Google Pixel, weighed in to reveal that, in actuality, Diallo would be going nowhere before Thursday's 11pm deadline. When Amad, that sweet and tender boy prince, liked that particular post too, the dream was, by any rational metric, dead. Cue an even bigger meltdown.

But this state of Black Catatonia need not last for long, because in amongst the hubbub and the furore, it has been reported, with a pleasing amount of certainty, that Sunderland are edging ever closer to a permanent agreement for Standard Liege starlet Romaine Mundle.

Now, had I, a professional football journalist of sorts, heard of this lad before yesterday afternoon? No, I had not. Have I since watched enough supercut YouTube compilations to blind a horse and subsequently appointed myself as the self-proclaimed president of his unofficial fan club? Yes, I have. I am a fully subscribed Romainiac, and I am earnestly of the belief that it is only a matter of time before everybody of a red and white persuasion is too.

The first clue that the 20-year-old might be something a bit special came from the overwhelming reaction of Tottenham Hotspur supporters online. Unanimity is a rare thing in the age of social media backbiting, and yet, without exception, those fans who watched with eager anticipation as he danced and dazzled his way through their academy setup are seemingly convinced that he is a talent of immeasurable potential. In fact, many are of the opinion that he should never have been allowed to leave the club at all, that he should presently be staking a claim for a place in Ange Postecoglou's first team plans in North London.

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Ostensibly a winger, but with the capability to play in a more central role too, perhaps the biggest - and most double-edged - compliment any Mackem could pay Mundle is that his style of play is eerily similar to that of incumbent Wearside messiah Jack Clarke. There is a lankiness to his gait, a velcro touch to his instep, a sudden and inexplicable nature to his bursts of electric pace and the traumatic manner in which he toys with the motor functions of opposition full-backs. The only downside, of course, is that it would appear Kristjaan Speakman is already stocking the doomsday bunker for the armageddon of Clarke's inevitable departure.

For now, though, let's not worry about the iceberg. Instead, let us focus on the Romaine. Sunderland have made a happy habit of identifying and snaffling up precocious unknown wunderkinds from around Europe in recent times, and there is nothing to suggest that Mundle can't represent another muted arrival that goes on to become an explosive success story. He is the kind of player who makes hearts quiver and nerves tremble.

Will he be enough to distract the collective Mackem hivemind from their yearning for Amad Diallo? Maybe, maybe not. That kind of divinity rarely strikes twice, after all. Even Jesus was an only child. But there is something about Mundle, an intangible wow factor that quickens the pulse and hints towards very, very big things.

With a £2 million fee agreed, a medical booked, and his unveiling expected in the coming days, Sunderland might be about to welcome their newest mercurial darling.

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