There is just two weeks to go until the Football League season begins and out of all three leagues in the EFL, League One perhaps looks the most interesting in terms of the potential promotion battle and signings made this summer.
None of the three teams relegated from the Championship have done particularly much in the market and it is outfits who were in League One last season who are looking to get back to the Championship who have been making eye-catching moves.
Ipswich Town and Wigan Athletic have both done good business and it is the latter who raised eyebrows when they managed to win the race to sign Charlie Wyke, who was prolific for Sunderland last season.
The Black Cats are undergoing somewhat of a squad transformation as Lee Johnson released a host of senior players at the end of the previous campaign, and despite Luke O’Nien and Aiden McGeady signing new contracts they still look thin on the ground in a number of positions.
In an exclusive interview with Football League World, former Newcastle defender Steve Howey, who has been a Sunderland fan since he was a child, believes that all areas of the pitch need to be added to before the 2021-22 campaign kicks off on August 7, with the club’s lack of depth very apparent.
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“I think they need to strengthen full stop,” Howey admitted.
“Luke O’Nien’s signed a contract which I’m pleased about – very good player. As I said, again Sunderland find themselves in the kind of predicament that Newcastle do where they haven’t got a great deal of money to spend so they have do their business shrewdly.
“So for me they do need to strengthen and that means all over the pitch. I think you need that – in the Championship and League One it’s just relentless.
“It’s game after game after game after game – they’re going to need a strong squad, so it’ll be interesting to see in the next couple of weeks ago who they can attract.”
Sunderland have so far made three signings for their first team, with young Man City defender Callum Doyle joining the permanent additions of Corry Evans and Alex Pritchard at the Stadium of Light, but it’s clear to Howey and others that a lot more is needed to make the club title contenders this season.