This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Sunderland are reportedly interested in signing Forest Green captain Carl Winchester according to Gloucestershire Live.
Winchester has been a regular for the League Two side this season, as they currently sit third in the fourth-tier standings after their opening 21 matches this term.
Sunderland boss Lee Johnson has previously worked with Winchester, whilst the pair were at Oldham Athletic earlier in their careers.
You would imagine that a move to the Stadium of Light could be a tempting proposition for Winchester, with Sunderland well-placed to mount a serious push for promotion back into the Championship.
The Black Cats are currently sat 11th in the League One table, and find themselves three points adrift of the play-off positions heading into the second-half of this year’s campaign.
But would Winchester be a good addition to the Sunderland team and is he needed at this moment in time?
I think that this move would be a total waste of time, to be honest.
While Carl Winchester is doing very well with Forest Green in League Two so far this term, I don’t think he’s what Sunderland need.
The Black Cats need players who can hit the ground running and help them to secure promotion – not someone who will be testing themselves at a higher level.
This January will be massive for Lee Johnson’s side and it’s crucial that they bring in the right players to help them kick on.
Unfortunately I don’t think that this is what they need.
Lee Johnson knows Winchester well, having managed him at Oldham Athletic, so he knows what he’s going to get.
The central midfielder is an experienced head who has amassed over 200 games in the EFL, and his nous and leadership qualities in the middle of the park could be very beneficial for the Black Cats.
Ultimately, you have to trust Lee Johnson’s judgement here and hope that he believes Winchester can make the step up to League One and Sunderland, where the expectations are turned up ten-fold.
The central midfield berths are relatively well stocked at Sunderland so Winchester wouldn’t walk straight in you feel, with the likes of Leadbitter, Scowen, Power and Dobson among those competing for starting spots.
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It’s an interesting one.
Winchester is a decent player and I think this story stems from the fact that he has worked with Lee Johnson before.
Indeed, the player has been on record in saying that one of his best spells as a player came under Johnson back at Oldham Athletic and I think there’s a case, therefore, that he could do well for the Black Cats.
It would be a big move for him, of course, but he is in the prime years of his career and under a manager he clearly enjoys playing for he could really relish the challenge.