Our Three Most Wanted At Sunderland Before The Transfer Window Shuts

Would Matt Phillips be an ideal signing for the club? Yes, in the mind of one Roker Reporter.

The transfer window about to slam shut in little over a week, there's still work to be done as far as Sunderland are concerned with a number of signings expected into the club before calm and order is resumed in September.

Everyone has an opinion on who we should be looking at, and we at Roker Report are no different to the rest of you. We're obviously quite opinionated, hence why the site exists in the first place, so we're going to be quite indulgent and each of us present three players we'd like to see arrive into the club.

Without further ado, here's each of the Roker Reporters opinions on who should come in...

Michael Graham

Steven Fletcher (Wolves)

No surprises here. In terms of quality and prestige, Fletcher isn't the best we could get for the kind of fee it would take to get him. I think we all know that. But there isn't really anyone who can tick as many boxes as he does. We know he can do it in the Premier League, we know he wants to be here, we know that the location will never be a problem for him. Most importantly though, he is also young enough to be able to solve the striker problems for the foreseeable future and end the annual summer search for a forward.

Aiden McGeady (Spartak Moscow)

Adam Johnson is the flavour of the month - every month - for Sunderland fans, and I think he is a hell of a player. I just think McGeady is slightly better suited to Sunderland right now. He is quicker with the ball at his feet over the first 10 yards which would slot very neatly into our counter attacking football, he can go either side and take it on it either foot, and his set piece delivery would mean we were not too reliant on shoehorning Larsson in every week. I am a reasonable man, however, so won't moan if we get Johnson instead...

John Guidetti (Manchester City)

Another attacking player, I know. I really don't subscribe to the theory that we are 'desperate' for a full back or 'lacking creativity' in midfield. We need depth of quality in attacking areas more than we need to new players in other areas and Guidetti would be that. A hungry young pup would compliment the experience of Saha and current ability of Fletcher very well, and with Guidetti also preferring the deeper attacking role, he could provide Sessegnon with some valuable rest time without a severe drop in quality.

Dan Williams

Cheikh M'Bengue (Toulouse FC)

With Keiran Richardson's future finally looking like being decided, it's fair to say that we're in the market for a new left back, a 'specialist' left back, if you will.

Toulouse FC's Cheikh M'Bengue could be a perfect fit for us. Quick and intelligent, he is incredibly important to Le Tefece, and looks primed and ready to come to the Premiership.

A deal could probably be done for somewhere in the range of £5-6m, meaning he won't break the bank, and at only 24, he has a long and bright future ahead of him. However, getting in ahead of Arsenal, who are apparently interested, could be a problem with only days of the transfer window remaining.

Etienne Capoue (Toulouse FC)

Although it may seem that I'm a bit obsessed with Toulouse, Newcastle have shown recently the kind of value that is on offer in Ligue 1 at the moment, and Etienne Capoue is the top of a few teams' shopping list at the moment.
Although he's a defensive midfielder, and we all think we need someone a bit further up the park, Capoue's creativity more than makes up for his position on the field, and he can spray a pass to pretty much anywhere on the park. He really is like a quarter back at Toulouse, and magic to watch with it. Plus, as he proved at the weekend, he has goals in his locker too.

Again, it looks like he'll be leaving TFC in the next couple of weeks, and with teams such as Spurs and Arsenal apparently chasing him (possibly depending on where M'Vila ends up) - we should be bidding, and bidding big for him now.

Matt Phillips (Blackpool)

The Blackpool winger, who can play on either side, or through the middle, has handed a transfer request in, and took himself out of the Tangerines' game on Saturday.

There will never be a better time to try and snap up the player that has had a number of teams looking at him during the summer, and he could be the right-hand winger that we are looking for to compliment McClean on the other side...

He is quite prolific at Blackpool, and despite them playing in the Championship, looks like a player that taking a gamble on may well pay off.

Simon Walsh

Dimitar Berbatov (Manchester United)

Yeah alright, so he's only just been linked to the club incredibly tenuously in the last few days, but it's something I've thought about for a while but feared the mocking. I'm ready to face that now I feel.

Berbatov would be some signing. Even despite his age, quite easily the biggest signing and biggest statement of intent the club have made in my near 30-year existence, and it's not that unreasonable to think we could get him.

Factor in the the cost of Steven Fletcher - A reported fee near to £15m, plus of course you have wages on top. Would it be so silly to suggest a fee between £5-10m for Berbatov with the rest going on paying his massive wages?

To get 2-3 years out of Berbatov would be fantastic, and potentially convince others when the time comes to replace him that the area isn't one to be ignored as some far-flung hell hole.

I think his style of play would fit in perfectly with the energetic James McClean and Stephane Sessegnon buzzing around him. Oh and this guy too...

Joe Cole (Liverpool)

Adam Johnson's very good. So is Aiden McGeady. However after spunking a hefty portion of the available money on the star attraction of Berbatov cuts need to be made accordingly.

To fill the creative void and ease some of the burden on Stephane Sessegnon I thnk Cole would be an excellent addition. He fits the role of being able to slot in on the left, on the right and a wonderful ability to create.

Currently at Liverpool he seems neither here nor there in terms of playing - very much at a crossroads that we could take full advantage of. Aging, but still blessed with some ungodly talent on his day, a fee anywhere between £2-5m would land us a very decent player for a few years.

John Guidetti (Manchester City)

I'm not going to lie and pretend I know a great deal about Guidetti, but everything I've read about him is nothing but positive about his skills and ability to find the net. It would be great to see an exciting and relatively 'unknown' yet feared striker on our books. For that reason alone, I'm all aboard the Guidetti bandwagon.

Chris Weatherspoon

Adam Johnson (Manchester City)

This deal seems to have gone from very unrealistic to 'Oh-My-God-we-might-actually-bloody-well-get-him' in a very short space of time. With news filtering through that Sunderland are one of three clubs Johnson is yet to rebuke overtures from, a long-term target could finally be on his way to Wearside.

I'll be honest, I still have reservations. Johnson will command a weekly wage that goes above and beyond our current wage limit, and I'm not sure I'm entirely comfortable with breaking that wage structure for one player. It could set a dangerous precedent, whereby the club's wage bill spirals out of control - I may sound overly cautious, but don't think it hasn't happened many times before in football.

That said, from a footballing perspective, Johnson would be a fantastic signing. His progress has stalled somewhat at City, but he's still a supremely talented footballer, and one who fits the O'Neill system pretty much perfectly. If Ellis Short and others in the boardroom see fit to sanction the move, Adam Johnson will be welcomed with open arms.

Steven Fletcher (Wolves)

Yes, it's rumbled on forever. Yes, Wolves probably want too much for him. But still - we need a striker, and Steven Fletcher is perfect for us.

I said it way back in April when we played Wolves, and have been doing so ever since. He's big, strong, and knows how to put away a chance. We seem to finally be getting there with the deal and, having signed Saha, I sense Wolves' position has weakened and we'll get him for cheaper than they hope.

Martin Olsson (Blackburn Rovers)

With Kieran Richardson seemingly set on leaving - something which is both hugely inconvenient and hugely disappointing - Sunderland are going to need a left-back. Unfortunately, I struggle to see many (attainable) full-backs that are better than Richardson.

One who is perhaps on par is Olsson. Despite being relegated with Blackburn last year, he was a consistent performer in an inconsistent side, seen by many as Rovers' key player alongside Yakubu. With the latter having left already, Blackburn will have braced themselves for Olsson's departure too - Sunderland could do far worse than be the side that acquires him.

David Boyle

Adam Johnson (Manchester City)

With Saha already through the door and the Steven Fletcher saga finally appearing to be coming to a conclusion focus will now be on our midfield to provide the ammunition for our forward line to thrive upon. Earlier in the summer many balked at Sunderland's chances to release Adam Johnson from his Manchester City shackles however this rumour has since taken on a life of its own and also credibility as the club tabled a bid. Undoubtedly AJ would be somewhat of a coup for the club and a real step in the right direction, a real statement of intent if you will.

Yes wages will presumably be an issue but if the club can put together a package to secure his services then, well, fuck me sideways it will genuinely be a deal to get overly excited about.

Jermain Defoe (Spurs)

Just as rumours began to pick up pace that the prolific striker may finally look further afield than his beloved London in a bid to secure first team football and SAFC became an interested party in the diminutive forward's services the little buggar went ahead and bagged himself an impressive goal for England. Typical. But wait. Why give up just yet? Spurs will surely bring in a forward or two before the window closes so why not chance our arm with a bid? Defoe would surely compliment Fletcher perfectly and would guarantee goals. Pie in the sky or a surprise signing, time will tell.

Dimitar Berbatov (Manchester United)

I'm going to go for another seemingly unlikely signing in the shape of Dimitar Berbatov. For me this bloke oozes class and would be an effective foil to Fletcher. Berbatov has fallen so far of the radar at Manchester United you would probably require sonar to locate the forward, so why not? Right now I'm daring to believe again as a Sunderland fan. Yes I should probably no a lot better by now given the disappointments we have all endured over the years but I believe we may all be surprised by the club's ambition come deadline day

Karl Jones

Steven Fletcher (Wolves)

Okay, not the most imaginative start. But it is the most crucial. Another striker is paramount and Fletcher is not only the man that Martin O'Neill wants, but he's the man that has done the business over the past few seasons. As Adam Bate suggested, he is only one of 12 players to hit 30 goals in the past three seasons - the only one not to do at a Champions League club. Now, without being disrespectful to Wolves and Burnley, I would like to think that the likes of Stephane Sessegnon, Seb Larsson and James McClean could supply him enough opportunities to continue his rich vein of goalscoring.

Adam Johnson (Manchester City)

I'm including him because in spite of his current wage, his current location and his on-off relationship with the national team, hope - and momentum - seems to be gathering on a possible move for Adam Johnson. I actually think the third factor would make SAFC an attractive destination this transfer window; Danny Welbeck earned his first cap whilst enjoying regular football at the Stadium of Light, as did Jordan Henderson and Fraizer Campbell. For the most of this window my preference was on a winger that we could develop; one that had the raw ingredients to change a game from the bench (something Sunderland desperately lacked last season) but Johnson's pedigree is far beyond that. If he follows the impending closure of the Steven Fletcher saga, then Sunderland look a completely different proposition, not to mention the lift it will give supporters.

Ivan Perisic (Borussia Dortmund)

Not everyone may know this one. Few may remember he was the guy who whacked home a volley against Arsenal in the Champions League last season, and that's where many may snort in derision at the prospect of him coming to Sunderland. But...

With the arrival of Marco Reus and the development of Sven Bender, Perisic's time at Borussia Dortmund may be coming to an end. Much of his game time last season came from the bench, and Martin O'Neill has spoken about relieving Sessegnon of much of the creative burden, so a 'cheeky' bid (are they anything other than that at this time of year?) could tempt him to have a crack at the Premier League. Whilst he was more goal scorer than goal provider last year, in each of his seasons at Club Brugge he managed double figures in assists. Plus he's a dab hand at creating chances for his national team. As an attacking left-sided player, he could be the man to put pressure on James McClean or, even, the new left attacker should O'Neill continue to think about using McClean from the right.

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Who would be in your three? Let us know in the comments below. It's free to register and plenty of fun to get involved with Roker Report...

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