Sunderland are facing a crucial January transfer window as they look to right the wrongs of previous years.
The Black Cats have missed out on promotion in each of the last two seasons and are under increasing pressure to return to the Championship as the financial landscape of the EFL continues to make things difficult for clubs to thrive.
A salary cap has come into play which stops clubs from spending more than they can afford on transfer fees and wages, meaning that clubs are having to keep a particularly close eye on their finances as they look to make progress.
The Wearsiders are one of the teams who will be impacted by the restrictions, but while they won’t have to make wholesale changes in order to comply, it’s thought that they’ll have to do some wheeling and dealing if they’re to free up space for new additions.
That could be a problem with the January market it mind.
Sunderland seem likely to have to offload players before they can sign anyone new which means that their hands are somewhat tied.
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That said, Lee Johnson could have the solution to his problems already in the building.
Jack Diamond is regarded as one of the hottest young talents at the club at present.
The winger enjoyed a loan spell with Harrogate Town last season but has since dipped his toe into the first team scene at the Stadium Of Light.
Now it’s time to throw him in and watch him fly.
The 20-year-old has been a breath of fresh air when used this term as the winger uses his pace and direct running to cause allsorts of problems for opposition defenders.
In Sunderland last two matches before the festive period Diamond played 135 minutes, scoring one and creating two for his teammates.
Diamond offers something very raw and unique within the Sunderland camp, and given their need to take the game to their opponents in the second half of this season, he could be the perfect man to cause problems.
He’ll make mistakes along the way because he’s far from the finished article, but if the Black Cats can empower the young star then they may have one of the most dangerous players in the league on their hands.