With Simon Grayson leaving his managerial position at Preston North End to join Sunderland, many fans are sceptical whether he is the right man to take the Black Cats back to the Premier League.
Although, Grayson has never managed in the top-flight or even pursued a club into the Championship play-offs, the 47-year-old has guided all four of the club he has managed out of the League One, including Preston who he helped gain promotion with through the League One play-offs back in 2015.
Grayson must be extra cautious in this summer window with the Black Cats, as especially due to last term, Sunderland are gaining a reputation of spending too much cash on players, who aren’t proven talents in England.
A way around this may be for Grayson to attempt to sign players he is familiar with, and have already proven their worth on Championship soil.
Preston’s Daniel Johnson, who is valued at £638k on transfermarkt, could be a brilliant addition to Sunderland’s midfield if he can lure him away from Deepdale.
Since joining Preston from Aston Villa in 2015, Johnson has been a crucial asset to the Lilywhites, scoring eight goals 18 appearances in the League One campaign which saw Preston promoted, and has scored another 12 goals since then, alongside being Lancashire side’s primary playmaker.
The 24-year-old has the skill and attacking qualities to elevate the Black Cats midfield, and with them recently releasing Seb Larsson, he would be a perfect replacement in midfield for the Swedish international.
Additionally, Johnson is also capable of playing a more deeper role in midfield, as his determination and fantastic work rate within the midfield helps him win the ball for his side, and distribute it into an attacking position.
Subsequently, as Grayson was the manager who originally signed the Jamaican midfielder and gave him a second chance after failing to progress at Villa Park, Johnson and Grayson have a great relationship which may lead to the 24-year-old wanting to force a move to return to Grayson’s management.
The only thing holding back this transfer surely would be the Lancashire club’s asking price, as due to Johnson’s current role within the Preston setup, the Lilywhites will certainly not want to sell the playmaker.
Alongside this, Johnson is still at a very young age and has plenty of time to develop into a more complete midfielder, which will definitely raise the price tag for him.
Sunderland fans… What do you think? Would you be happy if Grayson signed Johnson from Preston? Or do you think it wouldn’t be good business? Let us know in the comments below!