Di Canio challenges Johnson

Sunderland boss Paolo Di Canio has challenged Adam Johnson to keep working hard and predicts the winger could be a world-beater.

Last Updated: 12/05/13 at 13:21 Post Comment

Adam Johnson: Encouraging signs on the field

Adam Johnson: Encouraging signs on the field

The 25-year-old has had a stuttering season following his £10m summer move from Manchester City.

But the England international has shown signs of returning to his best form in recent weeks, particularly during Monday night's 1-1 draw with Stoke.

Writing in his programme notes ahead of Sunday's crucial Premier League

clash with Southampton, Di Canio said: "He was outstanding against Stoke, but that should be normality for him, so it shouldn't be a surprise for anybody that he played so well.

"I don't know what the reasons are that Adam hasn't played as well as he can earlier in the season, but for instance we saw against Newcastle and Everton, as well as Stoke, that he is a player of high quality.

"We have to maintain this standard and I am pleased that under me, the player believes in his ability and is becoming more confident. He is young and to be honest, I want to see him show everyone how good he is.

"If he pushes his brain like he has in the last few weeks, he can be the player we expect him to be. It was a good game for him against Stoke because he devastated his opponents, even in the first half as a second striker and as a winger, he can be one of the best."

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till reckon Chelsea will go for Khedira as back up for Matic. I think it will turn out to be quite a Mourihno-y window: We'll see the squad players and youth in action pre-season, say things like well, we need not buy anybody and then the club will bid £60m for Pogba and send everybody on loan.

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would love to be a fly on the wall at the meeting between Milner and Rodgers. I don't know if flies can count, but if they can then I would be counting the number of times Rodgers used the word outstanding in his attempts to get Milner to sign.

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ell, it wouldn't be a summer without Arsenal fans fretting over losing a key player, and United throwing their weight around and muscling in on transfer deals which are (apparently) near to completion. If we can't be entertained by the football on the pitch, let's enjoy the silly off-pitch soap opera of the transfer season. Hurrah!

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