When Sunderland’s takeover is eventually ratified by the EFL, they will be limited in the signings they can make both financially and realistically.
Financially, they may have had their debts wiped, but their income will be substantially down. Realistically, not many quality players will be willing to make the drop down the divisions for a pay cut. Therefore, the way forward has to be focused on young up-and-coming players and free transfers for players who will add experience.
There is plenty of talent in League One that would be promising for the Black Cats. The likes of Adam Armstrong of Blackburn Rovers, nine goals in 21 appearances, and Ben Whiteman of Doncaster Rovers, six goals in 42 from midfield, are both 21 and would likely be tempted by a big club with aspirations of bouncing back up. The appeal of signing such young talents would also give the club a sense of a fresh start after the recent turmoil.
Additionally, there is the chance of securing more experienced players who, while not necessarily able to still cut it at the highest level, will be able to act as a steadying influence. The likes of Jay Spearing, still only 29 and with experience from the Premier League to League One, and George Long, 11 clean sheets in League One with Wimbledon, show that there is enough experienced talent that can be brought in on the cheap. Sunderland will need a mix of both experience and youth if they’re to make their stay in League One a short time.