Gus Poyet has hinted he will try to launch a January bid to make Ki’s loan move permanent.
The South Korea international looks set for a pivotal role in Poyet’s new-look Sunderland, who are playing more of a passing game than under predecessors Paolo Di Canio and Martin O’Neill.
Ki was always earmarked for a major part in Poyet’s plans but had to wait his turn, the new Black Cats boss making him sit on the bench for the Tyne-Wear derby.
That was not a reflection on his abilities, more Poyet’s determination to pick horses for courses in certain games. The fact he was a crucial part of Poyet’s plan to beat Manchester City said more – and now the Uruguyan admits he may push for a permanent deal for the player.
He said: “He (Ki) plays the type of football I really admire.
“He has the ability to pass the ball with just one touch and change from one side to the other or run with the ball and have a shot with either foot.
“If he believes he can do a bit of the work the other way, the defensive way, he is a player who can give us the lot.
“It is still early doors (in terms of his future), and I don’t know how expensive he is, but we will see.”
It is pleasing to see Sunderland with options. As well as Jack Colback and Craig Gardner, they also have Lee Cattermole ready to come back. Ki’s role, though, seems assured.
Poyet added: “He had to wait for his chance. In the beginning, it was Lee Cattermole in there and he wanted to play in that position.
“Then there was the sending-off, and he needed to come in and show the manager he wanted the shirt. He had to make it difficult for Lee to come back. He’s there at the moment and has the chance to stay there.”