Sunderland is in the basement of the Premier League, stuck at the bottom of the table with just five points, having finally earned their first win 11 matches into the season. They have just nine goals on the season, the lowest number in the Premier League.
They sure could use an in-form winger serving up chances in the box, right?
Turns out, they have one. He just isn’t coming back.
On-loan winger Jeremain Lens, now at Fenerbahce, has a goal and five assists after eight matches into the Turkish Super Lig season, with the club sitting in fifth and on a three-match league winning streak bracketing a win over Manchester United in Europa League play in which Lens scored.
Thus, it’s no surprise Lens wishes to stay where he’s playing at his best, and doesn’t wish to return to the Premier League’s bottomfeeders. “I am not happy at Sunderland,” Lens said to Dutch outlet Voetball International. “I have friends within this (Fenerbahce) team, my relationships with my team-mates are excellent.”
There’s plenty of time left before Lens has to officially make a decision, with his loan good for the entire season, but at this point, it seems Sunderland maybe should have kept him.
The 28-year-old Lens initially joined Sunderland from Dynamo Kiev in the summer of 2015, coming to the Stadium of Light for a $10 million fee. He made just 20 Premier League appearances for the Black Cats, often left on the bench during Sam Allardyce‘s time at Sunderland. His manager at Fenerbahce is Dick Advocaat, the same manager form whom Lens signed for at Sunderland and made eight of his Premier League appearances for, scoring two goals and assisting two more before Advocaat was let go.