Sunderland boss Lee Johnson has admitted that he may no longer be looking for a player to ‘stretch the play’ in the January transfer window, citing Jack Diamond as a solution.
Diamond impressed in his 45 minutes against Lincoln City on Saturday afternoon, scoring in the first-half and causing the Imps a number of problems.
Johnson has revealed that it was his intention to search for a player that stretches play with his pace and adventure in January, but the emergence of Diamond could hand him the solution.
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As quoted by the Chronicle Live, Johnson said: “We have to be careful with Jack and make sure he doesn’t get ahead of himself, but what he gives us an attribute that we haven’t otherwise got and that is the ability to stretch the play.
“When I was at Yeovil with my dad, he needed a stretch player and he signed a lad called Adam Stansfield for what turned out to be a bag of footballs, and he just enabled the rest of the players to play.
“That was the attribute I was looking for in our team, and it is well-known that we are looking for that type of player but, at the same time, if we have already got it in our ranks then there’s no need to sign one.”
Diamond was part of an excellent Sunderland performance on Saturday at Lincoln, as Johnson registered his first League One victory since taking charge at the Stadium of Light.
The impressive win now means that Sunderland are eighth in the League One table on 27 points and are trailing the play-off places by only a couple of points.
Tomorrow night, Johnson’s side take on AFC Wimbledon at the Stadium of Light.
January isn’t going to be an easy month and, whilst Johnson does need signings, his plans might well change as the fixtures go by.
In Diamond, he’s got a player that’s doing well. He’s raw at 20, but his performance on Saturday did suggest that he could have a good impact in the Sunderland attack.
As you can see, Johnson doesn’t want to put too much pressure on him, but after his 45 minutes against Lincoln, it is hard to deny he might change the Sunderland plan heading into January.
Thoughts? Let us know!