With Ross Stewart the only striking option, Neil has recognised the need to add in one or two areas but has admitted timing of some deals may not be in Sunderland’s control.
Jack Clarke and Leon Dajuku are the other two options and neither are natural strikers, leaving Neil desperate to bring in an additional striker. When asked about needing to add a frontman to the team, Neil told The Chronicle: “Yeah, definitely – and that’s only for that position!
“We’ve still got signings to make in a variety of positions, so we know we’ve got work to do.
“We’ve worked well and we’ve worked quietly in the background to get players in, which has been good, but we all understand we have more to do because it’s going to be a long, hard, difficult, season in the Championship.”
Neil’s experience in the Championship and ability to utilise a versatile squad at Preston will be useful for Sunderland as they look to navigate their return to the second tier.
Sunderland have already signed three players with Daniel Ballard, Jack Clarke and Aji Alese all coming in on permanent deals so far with the former Preston manager looking to add more.
It’s been an interesting transfer window so far for the Black Cats as the main aim has been tying players down for new deals like Bailey Wright and Patrick Roberts.
However, the additions of Ballard, Clarke and Alese all show a nod to smarter recruitment. Ballard is the oldest at 22 which is a refreshing change for Sunderland and a much needed investment for the future.
With this strategy in place, it’s likely Sunderland will be holding out for another young player to come in and challenge Stewart as they look to the long-term rather than a short term fix.