Lynden Gooch’s contract at the Stadium of Light runs out in the summer and the club should address the situation before the January transfer window.
Gooch has been an excellent servant to the club ever since arriving from USA in 2012. Becoming a key player following relegation to League One and performing through some up and down times on a very consistent basis.
The versatile attacking midfielder managed five goals and 13 assists in the behind closed doors 2020/21 campaign in which the Black Cats narrowly missed out on automatic promotion and won the Papa John’s Trophy. If the Black Cats fail to earn promotion back to the Championship this season they will be kicking themselves should Gooch leave the club in the summer or January.
The intensity that the four-time USA international plays with embodies Sunderland’s desire to return to their former glory and should be rewarded with a new contract.
In terms of squad depth it would also be a smart move, Sunderland do not want to have to completely re-mold an attacking contingent this summer. At the time of writing, Leon Dajaku and Nathan Broadhead will return to their parent clubs, while Aiden McGeady, 35, will likely depart at the end of his deal (this summer) with Aiden O’Brien’s contract also running out.
Extending the stay of a player who knows the club inside out, and also still has years of development ahead of him at 25 has to be the best course of action here. Even if the Black Cats win promotion to the second tier, Gooch is not a player who appears not ready or incapable of making the step up.
Quiz: Have Sunderland ever won an away game at each of these 20 stadiums?
Sunderland have been looking to reduce the age of their squad since Lee Johnson arrived at the club and tying Lynden Gooch down to a longer term deal would not only go a way towards achieving that, but also provide a nice blend of experience and youth within the ranks.
The 25-year-old has experienced the pain of the club’s struggles in the third tier in recent years and has certainly earned the opportunity to continue to play a key role in taking them back to the Championship.