It’s probably bad for me to admit that I was watching the Colombia game with a few mates and failed when trying to name our summer transfers so far. I actually thought we had signed seven players, only to find that to be wrong as the tally is currently six. I think.
As we all know, part and parcel of life in League One means the ‘big names’ that have served us so well over the last few years are no longer interested in playing on Wearside. That and the fact playing in a big stadium in front of a big crowd isn’t such a big deal for most footballers these days, even in League One, means player recruitment hasn’t been all that exciting so far. I mean, why play for Sunderland if all your mates live in London and the money is the same? It’s not exactly something that glows on ones CV these days.
Despite that, Jack Ross has done alright for himself this summer signing seven players already. With many set to join the likes of Fabio Borini, Jack Rodwell and Paddy McNair, funds – or more important wages - may well be available to boost that number. You’d imagine that number would need to at least double to suffice the squad size required.
Anyway, let’s have a quick recap of who Sunderland have signed this summer;
DoB: 16 January 1989 (aged 29)
Fee: nowt, apparently!
Position: Left back
DoB: 07 November 1993 (aged 24)
Fee: freebie after his contract with Wigan ended
Position: Defender (utility)
Nationality: Northen Ireland
DoB: 21 October 1991 (aged 26)
Fee: another freebie
Position: Centre back
DoB: 17 November 1992 (aged 25)
Fee: yep, you guessed it, another freebie
DoB: 09 September 1987 (aged 30)
Fee: yup, naff all
DoB: 15 January 1993 (aged 25)
Fee: a round of applause for all of those who managed to spot the pattern here
I don’t think its crude to say our recruitment has very much focused on low-cost, moderately experienced players at a crossroad point in their careers. That’s not to say it’s been a negative recruitment drive, though I appreciate why signing a player seemingly pushed out of Burton Albion and another who struggled in a Bury side James Vaughan thrived in may seem hard to get on board with.
I’m fine with it. Honestly it’s going to be canny going to the SoL or finding live football games online and not moaning about overpaid t**sers. As many teams have proven during this summer’s fantastic World Cup, you don’t need to have the best players to have the best team. It’s going to be good for the squad to take centre stage at the club after the uplifting takeover.
Not sure if I’ve written this piece for your benefit or my own, I’ve neglected the Lads for the last few weeks so it’s good to get my head around where the squad is at.