Wahbi Khazri not yet in Jay-Jay Okocha’s class – Sam Allardyce

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Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce has played down comparisons between new signing Wahbi Khazri and the likes of Youri Djorkaeff and Jay-Jay Okocha, who he brought to England during his time as Bolton Wanderers manager.

okocha adn sam

The Black Cats spent £9m on bringing Khazri to the Stadium of Light in January, and he made an encouraging first impression as a half-time sub during his side’s 1-0 defeat to Manchester City on Tuesday night.

The 24-year-old’s arrival has been likened in some quarters to Djorkaeff and Okocha joining Bolton, and Allardyce is hopeful that Khazri can have a similar impact in the final third.

“You are going world-class now, man. I’m not sure he’s world-class – if he is, it will be the bargain buy of the century,” Allardyce told reporters. “One of our problems is we get to the final third fine – we arrived in the final third much more than Manchester City, we produced more in the penalty area than Manchester City did against us – but our quality is the ultimate [problem] in that area.

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“It’s the hardest place to produce that quality, so if he’s got that quality in the final third which helps us provide and score more goals, then he’ll be a massive bonus to us – as in the past Youri Djorkaeff particularly, in a similar position, and Jay-Jay Okocha provided in my Bolton time.”

Allardyce also revealed that he plans to mainly use Khazri in a wide role, but is willing to play him through the middle too.

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