Sunderland Echo reporter Phil Smith has provided an update on the club’s plans for the upcoming January transfer window, as Lee Johnson puts plans in place to reshuffle his squad.
The former Bristol City boss has settled into life at the Stadium of Light well after picking up two wins and one draw in all competitions so far, suggesting that his influence is already being felt at the North East outfit.
It now appears that the experienced Football League boss is now drawing up how the Black Cats will be set to navigate through the traditionally tricky January transfer window, with finances said to be tight due to the club running close to hitting their salary cap.
Writing in his update for the Sunderland Echo this week, Smith had this to say on potential incomings and outgoings at the League One club:
“Johnson has already hinted that the loan market could be key, mentioning his strong connections with top Premier League clubs as a result of his time at Bristol City.
“Broadly speaking, he feels he has a strong squad on the whole, just one that lacks a couple of key ‘attributes’. Pace is top of that list, so it follows that the forward areas are a priority and he has said he doesn’t mind an addition being ‘raw’, if they bring other skills to the party.
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“He has outlined three ways he can improve the squad. Make additions, bring players up from the academy, and offload current players to create room.
“Jack Diamond has certainly made his case, but it would be no surprise if there was some turnover to allow Johnson to mould the squad more in his image.”
Sunderland are currently preparing for their weekend trip to Northampton Town in the league, with Johnson seeking to pick up a third win in his first four games in charge of the Black Cats on Saturday.
I don’t necessarily feel that many new recruits are needed at Sunderland as I think they have one of the more talented squads at League One level.
Johnson is used to working with a good deal of resources from his time at Bristol City and potentially that could mean he may ask for extra funds come January in order to, as Smith puts it, “mould the squad more in his image”.
It’s clear that he will have his own ideas and views on how he wants the team to play and as I mentioned previously, I think we’re already seeing the early results of the work that he has been putting in with the players on the training ground every week.
I expect the Black Cats to be busy but by the sound of it, he will need to wheel and deal for want of a better phrase in order to get the squad looking how he wants it in the long-term.