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Sunderland had a mare with Jeremain Lens



There was plenty of excitement amongst Sunderland fans in 2015 when they signed Netherlands international Jeremain Lens but his time at the Stadium of Light turned into a disaster.

Having starred at PSV Eindhoven earlier in his career, notching an impressive 43 goals and 48 assists in just 138 appearances for the Eredivisie side, Lens made the move to Dynamo Kyiv in 2013.

He would hit 16 goals and 19 assists in just two years with the Ukrainian side, so there seemed little to suggest that he wouldn’t be a success with the Black Cats, as he joined in a deal worth £8m, signing a four-year contract.

Upon signing, Lens said: “My qualities are that I’m fast, I can score goals and I can create chances.”

Unfortunately for the winger, this proved to be far from the case during his time in the northeast of England, as he managed just four goals and three assists in 24 appearances for the Black Cats before his departure, meaning he would cost the club £2m per goal.

Is Lens one of Sunderland’s worst ever?

Lens certainly did not win over any fans with his attitude and application in a Sunderland shirt, with David Moyes particularly critical of the winger as he sought a move away from the club in 2017, suggesting that the Black Cats’ potential relegation would allow him to get him his desired exit.

Moyes said: “It’s disgracefully disrespectful to the club which holds his registration. You would hate to think that anybody who was connected to a club had said that.”

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Eventually, he would join Besiktas in a permanent deal in February 2018 after spending time on loan with the Turkish side, with Sunderland no doubt making a significant loss on the fee they paid for the Dutchman.

Lens would remain in Turkey until the end of the 2020/21 season after a brief spell with Fatih Karagümrük before finding himself without a club for the entirety of the 2021/22 campaign.

The 35-year-old does have a new club in the third tier of France but has featured in just 28 minutes of action for FC Versailles 78 thus far, and Sunderland fans surely won’t be sorry to see him retire in the near future.

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