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“Our job is to…” – Alex Neil explains Sunderland’s change in transfer approach

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Sunderland manager Alex Neil has claimed that the Championship club’s new transfer strategy is to “go out and find the best young talent we can afford, bring them in, develop them, make them better”. 

The Black Cats will have to wait until Sunday lunchtime for the long-awaited return of second tier football as they host Coventry City at the Stadium of Light tomorrow.

Neil has used the transfer market to strengthen his squad since their promotion from League One was confirmed and there has been a clear effort to sign young, high-potential players – with permanent arrivals Aji Alese, Dan Ballard, Jack Clarke, and Leon Dajaku all 22 or younger.

Speaking to Chronicle Live, the Sunderland boss broke down the North East club’s new approach to transfers and highlighted how it was different from previous windows.

He said: “We have a strategy where our job is to go out and find the best young talent we can afford, bring them in, develop them, make them better, and then we have a hardcore of senior players that are there to help facilitate that.

“That’s how we are going about our business. You hear about a sustainable model, and that means we are trying to do it within the resources that we generate as a club.

“We don’t have a wealthy benefactor like the club had in previous years who is flinging money in. At the moment, there is a shortfall and the owners have to make that up each year so they are putting their own money in, but we want to try to come away from that as best we can over the next few years.”

The Black Cats capitalised on the loan market last season and may look to do the same in the latter weeks of the current window with Ellis Simms joining from Everton on a season-long deal earlier this week.

The Verdict

Sunderland’s new transfer strategy has been clear to see in the current window so it’s interesting to get Neil’s insight into how they’ve changed the way they’re approaching things.

It certainly looks like a positive move and one with an emphasis on long-term progress rather than short-term success.

Clearly, staying up has to be their main target this season and the young players they have signed in the current window should help them do that but the experienced squad members already at the club are going to be even more important due to this new transfer strategy.

It will be interesting to see whether they’ll alter that approach – in the latter part of this window or in January – if they make a poor start to the season.

Quiz: Can you remember the score the last time Sunderland played at these 26 stadiums?

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WEMBLEY STADIUM


London-based sports journalist at Snack Media EFL accredited, graduate of New Associates and the University of Brighton

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: “Our job is to…” – Alex Neil explains Sunderland’s change in transfer approach

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