Sunderland legend Kevin Phillips has urged his former club to sign Chelsea goalkeeper Nathan Baxter, who was linked with the Black Cats last week.
We are approaching the start of Lee Johnson’s first summer transfer window at the Stadium of Light and the first transfer window since Kyril Louis-Dreyfus took charge.
After suffering defeat in the play-offs last term, it would be no surprise to see the Black Cats make a statement via their summer business and Baxter is understood to be on their radar.
According to Football Insider, Sunderland are keen to sign the 22-year-old Chelsea shot-stopper – either on a loan deal or permanently.
Lee Burge was Johnson’s first choice last term but it appears he is keen to sign some competition for him ahead of the 2021/22 campaign.
Phillips has urged his former club to push ahead in their pursuit of Baxter.
Speaking to Football Insider, he said: “It is so important that you have healthy competition in all positions of the pitch.
“The goalkeeping position is one that it often overlooked but it can be very easy to get complacent as a goalkeeper.
“If no-one is challenging you, you can start making mistakes. We saw that in the first leg of the play-offs against Lincoln City.
“You definitely need competition in every department if you want to get promoted and Lee Johnson will know that.
“Someone like Baxter coming in can only be a good thing in my eyes.”
The Englishman is a product of the Chelsea academy but caught the eye with his impressive loan spell at Accrington Stanley last season.
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It seems as though the links between Sunderland and Baxter are gathering pace, with Phillips now weighing in on the situation.
It’s hard to argue with him, there are question marks over Burge and landing some competition is important if the Black Cats are going to launch a serious play-off push next term.
The 22-year-old has proven that he’s good enough at League One level and would likely be hungry to show he can cut it at a big club.
However, with his deal running until 2023 you’d question whether Sunderland can afford to sign him permanently or if the Blues are ready to let him go.