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Sunderland defender given all-clear after heart tests

Van Aanholt was withdrawn from the squad late on against Spurs. Credit: PA

Patrick van Aanholt could return to action on Wednesday night after being withdrawn from the Sunderland team at the last minute on the advice of heart specialists.

Black Cats boss David Moyes cited "medical reasons" after the game but would not elaborate, although he revealed on Tuesday morning that Van Aanholt was stood down after medical chiefs had looked at the results of regulation cardiology tests and decided further investigation was required.

Moyes, who was less than impressed with the timing of the news, said: "He had the statutory checks with the cardiologists and the FA panel of cardiologists looked at it and advised us really late on Sunday that he should not play until further tests had taken place.

"We are just surprised that the FA panel didn't contact me or contact my doctor until 3.55pm on Sunday afternoon. I have never in my career been put in a situation like that ever, so we had that to deal with.

"We just can't understand why the message would come to us at that time, 30 minutes before the kick-off."

However, the FA, which carries out around 1,400 screens across England and Wales each year, has insisted it had no formal involvement in the matter.

A spokesperson said: "This cardiac screen was not conducted as part of the FA's cardiac screening programme, therefore the FA had no involvement in the player's referral, the screening process or the communication of the results with the club.

"On occasion, clubs may seek independent advice on a player's cardiac health from an expert cardiologist who sits on the FA Consensus Panel, which is an expert body in this area.

"Cardiologists who sit on the FA Consensus Panel are hugely respected and vastly experienced specialists who place the patient at the very centre of their care and their only concern will be in regard to the well-being of that individual."

Heart scan forced Van Aanholt withdrawal at Spurs

Van Aanholt was withdrawn from the squad late on. Credit: PA

Sunderland boss David Moyes has confirmed that defender Patrick van Aanholt was withdrawn from the team to face Tottenham on Sunday because of the results of tests on his heart.

The Dutchman's withdrawal from the starting XI at White Hart Lane on Sunday barely 30 minutes before kick-off sparked a series of conspiracy theories, but Moyes revealed on Tuesday morning that he had been advised not to play the full-back by cardiologists.

Moyes said: "He had the statutory checks with the cardiologists and the FA panel of cardiologists looked at it and advised us really late on Sunday that he should not play until further tests had taken place."

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Moyes: Clubs should be more patient with managers

Moyes has a new start at Sunderland. Credit: PA

David Moyes has called for managers to be given time to implement their plans as he plots the way forward at Sunderland.

Moyes welcomes former club Everton to the Stadium of Light in Monday night's Premier League fixture and the 53-year-old Scot spent 11 years at Goodison Park, where he established the Toffees in the top half of the table and took them into Europe despite working to relatively modest budgets.

Since leaving Everton, Moyes lasted less than a year as Manchester United manager before a 364-day spell in Spain as Real Sociedad boss.

And as he embarks upon his latest mission on Wearside, he insists it is no coincidence that managers who get the time to bring their plans to fruition enjoy the most success.

Moyes said: "You know, if you look at the clubs which really had good success, Brian Clough was at Nottingham Forest, I think, for 18 years; Sir Bobby Robson was at Ipswich Town for, I think, 13 years; Sir Alex Ferguson, you look at Arsene Wenger and then myself.

"If you look at the length of period that managers were there, you would say the clubs which have kept their manager for a long period have tended to get a level of success.

"They could be different eras, but because of media, because of a different type of pressure which comes under the owners or different owners I could say as well, it's not been quite so good.

"I was really fortune that I worked under two great people in Sir Philip Carter and Bill Kenwright (at Everton). There were mistakes along the way, of course there were, and there were disappointments along the way, but they always saw the bigger picture and always had an idea where we were going."

Sunderland splash cash to sign midfielder

Sunderland have signed midfielder Didier Ndong from French side Lorient for a fee of £13.5million.

The Gabon international, 22, has signed a five-year deal at The Stadium of Light.

It will be an honour to wear the Sunderland shirt and I will wear it with a true understanding of what it means.

I am excited to meet everyone at the club, to see the stadium and of course the fans...today is the most beautiful day of my life.”

– Didier Ndong
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