April 13, 2024

Sunderland is looking to complete many transactions on the final day of the January transfer window.
Sunderland enters deadline day with much work left to be done if they are to meet their objectives.

The Black Cats have already made one move in the market. Left back was not a top priority at the start of the year, but it rapidly became one after both Aji Alese and Dennis Cirkin were injured, resulting in the long-term signing of Leo Hjelde. A winger was not strictly top of the agenda, but Sunderland has always moved quickly to sign a player they believe has long-term promise, and with Jack Clarke’s long-term future unknown, the imminent arrival of Romain Mundle from Standard Liege makes sense. Mundle’s signing is expected to be announced on deadline day. Alex Pritchard is also expected to be confirmed as a Birmingham City player at some moment after having a medical on Wednesday.

Aside from that, a striker remains a top objective for Sunderland. Goals from Nazariy Rusyn and Mason Burstow in the previous month have given some confidence that the four possibilities currently in the works are moving forward, but Beale and sporting director Kristjaan Speakman have confirmed that another option will be added if possible. The focus is on a seasoned forward who can immediately boost the club; yet, those players are pricey and in high demand around the Championship. Kieffer Moore has been a target this month, but it is indicative of a difficult market that Bournemouth has yet to ratify his departure and will rightly seek hefty remuneration if they do.

Sunderland are also looking to add another midfielder to their squad, as depth has been missing for much of the season so far. Speakman admits that it is not as simple as signing cover for Corry Evans, but he does state that they want a ‘different’ sort of midfielder than their current alternatives, all of whom are best played as offensive eights. If Sunderland secures one of their primary goals in these positions, it may create the way for any last-minute loan departures, with Jay Matete and Luis Hemir two prospective possibilities who will require playing time if their road to the starting XI on Wearside is hampered by new arrivals.


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So it should be a busy day on Wearside, with more firepower for the play-off campaign arriving. However, Sunderland made it clear last year that they will not make deals that do not match their strategy, even if it proves unpopular in the near term.

Kristjaan Speakman reiterated that message last week when he spoke to the press, saying: “it will be busy, and hopefully we’ll get the outcomes we want [in the final days of the window]. You can’t do this kind of work if you’re going to panic. You’ve got to be really strategic, you need everyone aligned and you have to be really calm in those moments because that’s when mistakes happen. When you become frantic and panicked, you make selections and poor economic decisions and that’s when you’re going to damage [things for the future]. You have to stay calm, and sometimes that means saying no to things that externally, people might perceive to be good. But internally, we know it’s not going to work and that’s the difficulty because you want people to be excited, but it can’t be at the expense of getting better.”

Sunderland has been busy on recent deadline days, and they hope to continue that on Thursday, but there are no certainties that they will accomplish big business after Mundle arrives.

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