Transfer craic: newboys rated in the wake of Oxford draw & unbeaten start

The possibility of us bringing in anymore fresh faces to add to our 13 summer transfers came to an end today, with the loan window coming to a close. I took a look at the signings we have made and how I would rate them.

by Molly_Burke Sunday, 02 September 2018 05:46 PM Comments

Jon McLaughlin 

Prior to McLaughlin joining the club in June, I didn't really have any idea who he was, and in all honesty that was the same for a few of our signings. However, after having to put up with Lee Camp and Jason Steele last season, McLaughlin is like the Scottish Manuel Neuer in comparison. Ok, he's not that good, but I have actually been pretty impressed with the keeper. 

Despite a mistake yesterday against Oxford United that led to an offside goal, McLaughlin has appeared very comfortable in between the sticks and has pulled off some brilliant saves so far. While we have to accept that we are unlikely to see a keeper as good as Jordan Pickford in net for us for a long time, I am pretty satisfied with the former Hearts man being our first choice goalkeeper.

Rating: 7/10


Jack Baldwin

It's only been a little over a month since Jack Baldwin arrived on Wearside and I don't want to get too excited, but wow. The defender's performance against Oxford confirmed himself as my favourite signing of the summer. Following his move from Peterborough there were numerous Posh fans telling us he wasn't good enough and all he has done so far is prove them wrong. 

He definitely isn't the biggest of centre backs, but he appears much stronger than he looks. He's an absolute unit and I can't remember a time where he failed to win a ball or a tackle during the full 90 minutes of yesterday's draw. In a match where we were easily the poorest we have been all season, Baldwin stood out and looked exceptional.

If he keeps up these superb performances for the rest of the season he can easily become a very, very important player for us.

Rating: 9/10


Alim Ozturk

Alim Ozturk has been possibly our worst signing of the summer. He started off his Sunderland career poorly, with some shocking performances in pre-season and continued to disappoint after our campaign kicked off. Although surely he can't get any worse after his howler of a mistake against Sheffield Wednesday that, despite us going on to lose 2-0, was most likely the reason for our exit out of the Carabao Cup.

Ozturk didn't disappoint quite as much against Oxford, but I imagine that was partly because playing alongside the donkey that is Donald Love made him look slightly better. 

The former Hearts man is clearly not cut out for League One football and hopefully once Glenn Loovens returns from injury he will stay away from the starting XI as long as possible. 

Rating: 4/10


Glenn Loovens

RGlenn Loovens debut for Sunderland came alongside Ozturk in the first game of the season against Charlton, and both players seemed nervy and didn't particularly impress. However, while Ozturk continued to be, quite frankly, terrible, Loovens definitely improved. 

Up till the injury he sustained against AFC Wimbledon, the defender was beginning to impress and was forming a comfortable partnership with Baldwin. Hopefully Loovens won't be out much longer and can slot straight back into our back four, using his experience and leadership to help out his fellow defenders. 

Rating: 7/10


Reece James

Reece James hasn't had much of a chance to prove himself quite yet, having been out with an injury at the start of the season. However, the few opportunities he has had he has shown potential, particularly against Sheffield Wednesday. 

It is difficult to say too much on James, however now that Bryan Oviedo is set to stay at the club till at least Christmas, it is looking likely that James will play second fiddle to the Costa Rican - but a very good back-up option he is. 

Rating: 6/10


Tom Flanagan

Similarly to James, Flanagan has been out with injury and is yet to make a league appearance for the Black Cats. However, he did impress in pre-season and will give us a good defensive option if needed.

Rating: 6/10


Max Power

Max Power has easily become one of the fan's favourites already, having been one of our best players this season, bagging two goals in the progress. It was hard to understand quite why Wigan Athletic chose to get rid of the midfielder when he is quite clearly extremely talented. 

Like Baldwin, Power can become a very important player for Sunderland and I have no doubt he will continue to show his ability throughout the season and will be a vital figure in our attempt to gain promotion back to the Championship.

Following his sending off yesterday he will miss out on games against Fleetwood, Burton Albion and Rochdale - unless we choose to appeal the card and succeed, which is possible. He will be massively missed if he does miss out, as shown yesterday in a game we definitely could have won if he was on the pitch for longer than 20 minutes. 

Rating: 9/10


Dylan McGeouch 

Dylan McGeough was another name on our long list of injuries, but made his return against Gillingham. However, due to the superb performances from our midfielders he has been unable to force his way into the starting XI and has remained on the bench since. 

He has showed signs of promise during his short appearances, but is yet to be given the chance to reveal his full potential and impress the fans like Power has. But I have no doubt that when given the opportunity McGeough will take it by the scruff of the neck and will provide Jack Ross with numerous selection headaches. 

Rating: 7/10


Luke O'Nien

Luke O'Nien hasn't had much time to impress yet following a rather disappointing debut against Charlton. However, you have to let him off for that really when he had only been on Wearside a few days. But he had no time to be given a second opportunity and was soon dropped and hasn't even made an appearance from the bench since the win over Gillingham. 

For some reason I really like O'Nien despite the fact he has barely played. I think it us perhaps his determination to improve and his love for the game. I even noticed at half time yesterday that he was on the pitch kicking the ball around and was the last one to head down the tunnel, even carrying all the balls back with him. He is a very likeable character and I really hope he is given a chance and manages to make his mark on the team.

Rating: 6/10


Chris Maguire

Chris Maguire has been a big surprise for me. It was clear he was very disappointing for Bury and everyone wasn't sure how to feel when he signed, but he has definitely proved he was worth snapping up. 

One of the main worries for me prior to his signature was his lack of goals for Bury, however it is obvious after his time here so far that he not a striker and provides much more than just goals - although saying that he already managed to equal his goal tally at Bury in only five appearances.

Himself, Gooch, Honeyman and Maja have combined brilliantly so far this season and he has played a major part in our unbeaten start. 

Saying that, a poor performance from the lads yesterday saw Maguire have a rather disappointing game against his former side. He could have quite easily been sent off and I was beginning to pray for half time to come so we could get him off before we ended up down to nine men.

Rating: 8/10


Jerome Sinclair

Jerome Sinclair managed 45 minutes in a Sunderland shirt before he picked up an injury on the first day of the season and has been out ever since. Whilst he did look decent on his debut, it is hard to know what Sinclair will be like when he comes back, especially with the impressive form of Josh Maja and Charlie Wyke's return yesterday.

Rating: 5/10


Charlie Wyke

Charlie Wyke is the final name on our transfer list and made his debut for Sunderland yesterday against Oxford. Whilst he did score the equaliser, it is debateable whether he could actually claim it. In fact, I still fail to see him actually getting a touch of the ball, but hey-ho, at least he's off the mark. Bar his goal, Wyke didn't particularly impress me but it is clear that his height and strength will become very useful. However, I don't think I can complain too much when he probably isn't match fit. 

There is no doubt that Wyke is a proven League One striker and I'm sure once he gels with the team he will replicate his form with Bradford City. 

Rating: 7/10



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