New Sunderland boss Simon Grayson has a point to prove at the Stadium of Light after many fans questioned the former Leeds boss’ appointment, and his activity in the summer transfer market is the perfect opportunity to begin to win over those harbouring any doubt.
Grayson has already appeased some with the imminent signing of Irish winger Aiden McGeady, and could add further depth and quality to his wide positions with the acquisition of former Leeds midfielder Max Gradel.
The 29-year-old Ivorian remains on the books at Premier League Bournemouth, but it appears he has become surplus to requirements under Eddie Howe, and looks certain to depart the south coast in the coming weeks.
Leeds have been linked with a move for their former man, who scored 22 goals in 63 outings for the Whites during a short spell in west Yorkshire, but Grayson must do what he can to convince the player that his future lies in the north east.
A big summer rebuild is underway at Sunderland as the club prepares for life in the second tier, and adding Gradel, who could still perform in the Premier League given the chance, would be a real statement of intent by Grayson.
The winger could easily add ten goals from midfield, as can McGeady, so having such a resourceful pair in the wide positions could potentially edge Sunderland into the upper reaches of the division.
It will be a tough first campaign for the Black Cats in the Championship, but by adding Gradel to the squad, Grayson is certainly taking a step in the right direction.