In case Sunderland fans were wondering how Wahbi Khazri’s loan spell at Rennes had started, the answer is rather well.
The Tunisian playmaker scored the first of his team’s three goals away at Marseille in an unexpected but deserved 3-1 rout of Rudi Garcia’s side with a classy back-heel into Steve Mandanda’s right-hand corner.
A goal the player described to Ouest-France on Tuesday, explaining he’d only ever managed to pull such a move off in video games before.
Outrageous skill aside, what surprised so many watching the game was how seamless his return to Ligue 1 has been, having struggled to fit in at the Stadium of Light under David Moyes following his move to Sunderland from Bordeaux.
Asked about it, Khazri could only smile: “I didn’t lose everything, you know! I know what I can and cannot do. But it’s only a game. We need to enjoy it and then go back to work to get ready for Nice.”
Explaining before the game that he wasn’t 100% fit, the Sunderland loanee just wants to be able to finish 90 minutes soon, having just managed 60 against Marseille.
But that was enough to get Rennes fans excited, and that’s all they want from this loan: the player from Bordeaux.