Sunderland look set to explore a number of loan signings in January, according to Phil Smith.
The Black Cats have endured a mixed start to the season and as a result find themselves sitting in mid-table as we enter the festive period.
But with Lee Johnson now taking charge of the club the hope will be that he can start to work with his seniors to build a squad that is capable of a genuine promotion push.
As is the case with many clubs in the EFL, funds are limited at the Stadium Of Light and according to the Sunderland Echo, this could see them enter the loan market in search of young, raw talent.
Writing in a Q&A for the Sunderland Echo, Smith said: “I think it’s absolutely an option Sunderland will be exploring.
“In terms of the cap on squad sizes, there is only space for Sunderland to add one player over the age of 21 to the current squad. It’s fair to surmise that they are fairly close to the salary cap itself in terms of their wage commitments.
“Lee Johnson has already hinted in his answers around the January window that the loan market might be a good one to explore, and has already discussed his strong connections with Premier League clubs. He’s a coach with a good reputation with those academies and that could definitely be an asset for Sunderland.
“When discussing his desire for a bit more pace in the squad, he has said that he is happy for that player to be raw in other areas of his squad. So it follows that bringing in a young loanee could be a good way to get some variety in the squad while staying within the restrictions.
“He has also said, though, that he will give opportunities to youngsters at Sunderland if they can prove they are worthy of it. Jack Diamond’s performances have given him pause for thought and though he’s still a while away from returning, I expect he’ll take a good look at Benji Kimpioka, who is certainly raw but is also most certainly quick.”
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This is a pivotal transfer window for Sunderland.
The club need to make some changes to give Lee Johnson a squad that has genuine hopes of being able to push for promotion – something which doesn’t seem like the case right now.
Who knows, a couple of shrewd additions and the hope will be that the Black Cats can kick on in the second half of the season.