April 22, 2024

Sunderland already has a potential summer signing lined up.

Sunderland must be active in the summer transfer window after witnessing their 2023/24 season unravel.

Sunderland sacked Michael Beale last month, and the Black Cats are now winless in seven games after drawing 0-0 with QPR in the Championship.

Mike Dodds has yet to win as interim manager, and his chances of securing the permanent position appear to be fading.

So, in addition to signing new players and presumably unloading names like Jack Clarke and others, the Black Cats must also find a new management.

Kyril Louis-Dreyfus and Kristjaan Speakman already making Sunderland plans

Several names are being connected to the Sunderland manager position ahead of the summer.

Will Still is Sunderland’s preferred managerial candidate, but names such as Steve Cooper have also been mentioned, with several more certain to enter the running as the summer approaches.

Callum Styles could be on Sunderland’s summer signing list.

Sunderland signed Styles on loan from Barnsley on deadline day last month, with the option to make his stay permanent.

Barnsley manager Neill Collins has previously regarded Styles as a ‘class’ player.

Callum Styles at Sunderland

Callum Styles sends 'clinical' message to Sunderland team-mates with  play-off hope still alive - Chronicle Live

 

Styles hasn’t had a great start at the Stadium of Light.

The 23-year-old has appeared five times in the Championship so far, with an average SofaScore rating of 6.72, placing him 21st in the Sunderland player rankings.

The Hungarian international has failed to score a goal and has only played the full 90 minutes once, against QPR in the most recent game.

So far, Dodds has used Styles in a variety of positions, including both sides of defence and on the right wing against Norwich City.

Dodds has publicly confessed that he does not know what Styles’ optimal position is.

Sunderland transfer strategy coming under criticism

This run of form has shed light on Sunderland’s transfer strategy, which disproportionately prioritizes younger players, frequently from abroad.

And although that has shown a lack of experience, Styles’ signing thus far has demonstrated a lack of strategy.

Dodds has been with the club for several years. He may have been aware that Styles was a player of interest for some time, but the fact that Styles has arrived and Dodds is unsure what to do with him suggests that the club may have signed him on a whim.

Speakman undoubtedly brought him in with the expectation that his quality would fit in wherever, but that has not been the case thus far.

Styles isn’t demonstrating why he’s been pursued by so many Championship teams in the past.

Yes, he can play in a variety of positions, which is useful, but he is currently just proving to be a backup player, and Sunderland require star quality, particularly ahead of next season, with many key players likely being gone this summer.

Instead of investing money to sign Styles, Speakman should assess the team with the right personnel and boost it accordingly.

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