It's very early in the summer transfer season, footballers are just beginning to take their holidays, but so far the backroom staff at SAFC have been very busy. Thus far in the window I have seen two reasons to be confident in Ellis Short, and his new look summer transfer window blueprint.
The first, which was abundantly clear during the season, is that Short realized a squad as small as Sunderland's could not survive long in the Premier League. Worryingly at the end of the season, players who could not be relied on consistently, were being forced to play a role in important games due to injury or inconsistency by other first team players. On top of that, a few of the squad players were out of contract in the summer and an important player on loan, Danny Rose, would go back to his parent club. We as fans know this leaves the first team squad incredibly thin. Ellis Short knew it too, and it seems he has a solid plan in place to remedy the situation. The early transfer rumors obviously point to a large increase in the importance of out of contract footballers. By starting early and starting aggressively, Sunderland have been able to turn the heads of many of the young, talented, free agents on the market. If reports are to be believed we have already agreed deals with three or four of our targeted free agents, all of whom look to be upgrades to the out of contract players SAFC is losing. This policy is working to add numbers while preserving funds to use on what we would see as more quality targets later in the window.
The second reason I am confident in this transfer plan, comes down to the confidence Short is placing in Di Canio and his coaching team. No longer are we paying footballers millions based on their name, talent, or past glory. The owner has begun to place more focus on scouting cheap unknowns who have talent but may need that extra push to get them into the upper echelon of the footballing world. Short believes that Di Canio's staff can get that out of the players, and is willing to risk his own fortune on that bet. Short made his fortune hedging bets on private equity at Lone Star Funds, and if his track record there is any indicator, I think we can trust him to put his money on the safe bet.