Thursday, December 13, 2007

Dunne set to sign new deal

Manchester City manager Sven Goran Eriksson has disclosed that City skipper Richard Dunne is on the brink of signing a fresh contract with the Citizens.

The 28-year old defender is nearing his 300 appearances for his Eriksson’s club, having severed them for the past seven years.

Discussions, regarding the new contract have been held and Eriksson is certain that the Irish international will sign on the dotted lines.

"I think it's ongoing and I know the club has spoken to his agent and I have spoken to his agent," Eriksson told the club's official website.

"I think it's not far away before he signs a new contract. He is very important for us and always plays very good football. He is very steady."

The former England manager also hailed Dunne’s leadership qualities and stated that the defender is an inspiration to his team-mates.

Eriksson added: "I think a captain doesn't need to speak very much. It's important that the players look up to him and listen when he speaks and I think Richard Dunne is one of those players. When he has something to say no players argue with that - that's leadership.”

"A captain is important. If I have any doubts and want to speak to anyone, I normally take the captain and ask his opinion, because he speaks for the players.”

"As a coach you have a little bit more contact with the captain than the other players.”

"If you take Richard Dunne, he sets a good example in the dressing room, the training field and the pitch on match days. He always gives everything, even today in training."

I must confess that following Sven's arrival in the summer, and with bucketloads of cash at his disposal that Richard Dunne might be a player who although not immediately, would ultimately be phased out in favour of new recruits.

However, Sven chose to maintain him in his role as captain of the side and he undoubtedly provides an important bridge between the various elements that we now have within the squad - not to mention the benefit that Micah Richards will get from playing alongside him.

Whilst still prone to the odd mistake or lapse in concentrate, Dunne is undoubtedly a more consistent player these days and for me is perhaps one of (if not the) most underrated player in the Premiership.

With 277 appearances under his belt, another five or so seasons at the club could see him threaten the top ten all-time list, something no player since the days of Joe Corrigan has managed to achieve.

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