Sunderland boss Lee Johnson has revealed he still wants six new arrivals through the door at the Stadium of Light before the end of August in an interview with Chronicle Live, admitting he’s had sleepless nights over the club’s transfer situation.
The Black Cats have only brought in two senior signings so far in this window, recruiting midfielders Alex Pritchard and Corry Evans as they look to win promotion back to the second tier at the fourth attempt.
Manager Johnson has also managed to tie down key players Aiden McGeady and Luke O’Nien to new contracts, with the former leading the League One assists chart last season as a major source of the Wearside outfit’s goals.
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However, the club have also seen several members of their first-team squad depart the Stadium of Light this summer.
28-year-old Charlie Wyke, who bagged himself 26 goals in the third tier last season, rejected a new contract and joined League One rivals Wigan Athletic, whilst the departures of Max Power, Josh Scowen, Grant Leadbitter and George Dobson have made a central midfield rebuild essential.
But with their League One promotion rivals thriving in the market and Sunderland’s transfer activity stalling, they face the prospect of a slow start to next season, which could be costly with the third tier looking more competitive than ever at the top.
Lee Johnson has expressed his concerns about this lack of activity and in an interview with Chronicle Live on potential new signings, he said: “I think we need a few, to be honest.
“If you gave me six, I’d take six.
“I’d take four if they were high quality.
“But I think we need a few.
“I wouldn’t say I’m comfortable [with where Sunderland are] – I’m having sleepless nights, that’s for sure.
“What I am comfortable with is that we are working extremely hard in the background.
“It’s a tough division this year and you have to have the quality, but at the moment we are a bit short.”
Charlie Wyke’s departure to a League One rival will have inevitably rattled a few cages and panicked many Sunderland fans, quite understandably too.
Not only have they lost their main goalscorer, but they have lost him to someone who they will come up against next season.
The two signings they have made are promising though.
Corry Evans has a wealth of Championship experience that could come in handy for a promotion challenger like the Black Cats, whilst Alex Prichard shone at Brentford previously and could be a shrewd addition if he can return the form he showed at Griffin Park.
They do need to make quite a few more signings though, with a striker and Ethan Galbraith their two likely priorities before the start of the season.
The obvious disadvantage of any future additions is the fact they haven’t had a full pre-season on Wearside after Sunderland’s slow start in the market, but this will be the least of Lee Johnson’s worries with the 40-year-old desperate to bring in fresh faces.