A new dawn is underway at Sunderland, but things are taking a little while to warm up.
While clubs up and down the country are bringing in players left, right and centre as the new season looms large, the Black Cats are taking a more measured approach as they take their time to fully assess the need of the first team squad.
Lee Johnson has let a lot of high-profile players move on this summer and it’s essential that he finds the right caliber of player to take the club forward.
Much has been made of the club’s desire to sign young, talented player who can be brought in, developed and either grow with the club or be sold on as a profit, but what’s equally important is signing players who can help the club in the here and now, after all, securing promotion this season is an absolute must.
That’s exactly why a move for Alex Pritchard is no surprise at all.
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Football League World exclusively revealed that Sunderland were closing in on a free transfer for the player following the end of his contract with Huddersfield Town, with the 28-year-old close to finalising a move to the Stadium Of Light.
Injuries have played a part in the last few years of Pritchard’s career, in fact, the player has made over 20 appearances just once in the last four seasons.
However there’s no doubt that the player has something truly unique to offer Sunderland.
When available, the creative midfielder has the technical quality to be a game-changing player. He’s shown that during his career so far in both the Premier League and the Championship.
The reality is that life in League One could be perfect for Pritchard.
The 28-year-old’s technical quality and ability to dictate play is exactly what Johnson has been looking for with Sunderland, after all, it was exactly that which was lacking at times last term.
Pritchard might not be a player who will make 50 appearances for the Wearsiders next term but if he can make his mark on the team and play a key role for the club in some of their tighter moments then he’s exactly the sort of addition who be the different between reaching the play-offs and securing automatic promotion.