Deadline Day: Hopes, Thoughts & Dreams

Michael Regan

It's just hours before the transfer window 'slams shut' and traps our collective football loving souls beneath it...

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Some people hate the transfer window. I actually love it. If I could, I'd lay about in my pants all day with a variety of snacks, Sky Sports News on the TV, Twitter and Roker Report on the smartphone (naturally) for the entire deadline day.

It's the football equivalent of the post session kebab. It's pure filth, smothered in a Jim White sauce. But sometimes it's okay to want it. Sometimes it's worth tuning in to simply to look at 'people' from Stoke. Who can ever forget the bloke casually knocking up a tab whilst a load of mutants froth at their mouths over the prospect of a mediocre signing jetting in at 11:55pm.

It's fair to say, from a Sunderland perspective, the January window has not been a regularly successful venture. The last one, in particular, was bizarre. The one decent player we signed then has just left for Real Betis only a year later. You'd think we had exclusive access to the transfer equivalent of ASDA's 'Woops!' aisle.

So, with a Jim White multiple transfer orgasm pending, here are some of our Roker Report writers hopes, thoughts and dreams for today's mad dash for mediocre, overpriced footballers...

Gareth Barker: Could be all about moving bodies out to get better options in for me. Having been linked with players like Ever Banega and Tom Ince, you can see why these are the types of players we could do with currently. Banega is the kind of forward thinking midfielder we just don't have. Ince has pace and a physical presence. Given the fact Ince couldn't come on loan, how best to generate funds to bring him in? Well, I wouldn't be adverse to listening to offers for Emanuele Giaccherini and Stephen Fletcher if it meant we players in the mould of Banega and Ince arriving.

I'm not really sure what Giaccherini brings to the table. With Nacho Scocco arriving and Connor Wickham returning, then we probably have enough to deal with losing Fletcher if it meant strengthening in areas where we're short. A wide forward with pace and a creative midfielder with quality would certainly make me think about who my best bargaining tools were.

Andy Tomlinson: Although the transfer window is about to slam shut, we should be doing everything we can to find buyers for the out-of-contract players. Despite the likes of Jack Colback, Phil Bardsley, Carlos Cuellar, David Vaughan, Craig Gardner, Andrea Dossena and Seb Larsson having their uses, it could even be argued that they should be retained beyond this season, removing these players from the wage bill should give Gus Poyet quite a bit of room to manoeuvre when attempting to improve the squad. If we are unable to shift those players, then I'd have no problems seeing Lee Cattermole, Steven Fletcher and Emanuele Giaccherini sold, with Ondrej Celustka sent back to Turkey.

Ever Banega, or someone of similar quality, should be brought in to play alongside Ki Sung-Yueng in midfield, both playing just ahead of the holding midfielder (Liam Bridcutt). A right back should be a priority too, Celustka has gone backwards rapidly and the success of loanees Marcos Alonso and Danny Rose has really shown up what poor choices we have had to put up with on the other side of the pitch. A winger with pace should also be high up on our list of priorities, there is a lack of pace throughout the side and it's something that we need to add if we want to stretch teams.

Finally, we may need to add another striker to add to Nacho Scocco due to uncertainty surrounding the futures of Fletcher and Connor Wickham, as well as the awful form of Jozy Altidore. We may have to scour the world for another in the mould of Scocco, as there are very few viable options with Premier League experience.

Craig Clark: Poyet has already completed a significant amount of business in terms of bringing players into the club, clearly with the idea of bringing his philosophy more completely to life on the pitch. Whilst the likes of Colback, Larsson, Gardner, Cattermole, Giaccherini, Fletcher and Altidore have done their level best to get to grips with his system, Poyet has evidently witnessed enough to suggest that different types of player are most definitely needed, with this group in particular struggling to flourish.

With that in mind, the additions of Bridcutt and Scocco make sense. They would also make the departure of one or more of the above players easier to cope with. Cattermole looks the most likely central midfielder to leave but of those named, he's also the one who is currently first named on the team sheet alongside Ki. Bringing Bridcutt in means he is still a first choice player and I would be loathe to let him go now unless another central midfielder was to follow to complete the trio. I would hate to see Cattermole go and leave us with the unenviable options of Gardner, Larsson and to a lesser extent Colback clogging up the midfield as the elusive "third man". Here's hoping any Cattermole sale is only with a view to bringing in Ever Banega, who would be an exceptional signing.

Up front, either Fletcher or Altidore could leave and I wouldn't be massively bothered. The same applies to Wickham and apparently he wouldn't care too much either, given how disappointed he seemingly was to have to come back. With Scocco in, selling a forward - more than likely Fletcher, who has the most interest in him - could free up funds and wages for another wide man. We know Poyet has looked at Tom Ince and stories have circulated of bids for Brighton's Will Buckley. Any addition in the wide areas would also make the increasingly peripheral Giaccherini, surplus to requirements. Again, any money generated from his sale could go towards the addition of a wide player more comfortable with the Poyet way. It's pointless speculating who that man may be, but the more cash generated, the better quality player we can chase.

Simon Walsh: I'll actually be quite happy with a quiet transfer deadline day, by which I mean a lack of incoming and outgoings. If there has to be any action then I hope it's an incoming midfielder to take some burden off Ki to be the creative force.

The pipe dream of someone like Banega would be a magnificent signing. If he or someone of his ilk falls into our laps then we have to take him. Otherwise I'm not overly fussed with bringing anyone in. Poyet has done some excellent business so far, and addressed most the needs we have.

The one thing I'm concerned about is who should go. For me, I don't want anyone to go. Even the likes of Phil Bardsley, Steven Fletcher, Emanuele Giaccherini and Lee Cattermole who have all been linked with moves away. We're in a situation where we need as much strength as possible in the squad, and to lose them would be significant blows to that.

If anyone is to go or deemed surplus to requirements, let's wait until the summer.

David Boyle: I think the rest of the lads have pretty much covered all bases now; Ever Banega would be a superb if unlikely deadline day deal to whet the appetite but in reality I expect it to be relatively quiet on Wearside with the majority of speculation likely to surround who may be on their way out of the door. At this stage however I'd imagine Poyet would be looking to keep his squad intact unless a fantastic offer was to come our way for one of the names linked with a move away.

Nick Holden: Sunderland have done remarkably good business so far this window. The signing of Marcos Alonso addressed one of the key weaknesses in our first team, whilst the arrivals of Vergini and Ustari provide more trusted cover for the first team than we preciously possessed. The recent deals for Nacho Scocco and Liam Bridcutt also serve to, hopefully, give quality new options for Gus Poyet in Sunderland's first team.

The one position I would still like to see us recruit in that we have yet to do so is a more creative central midfielder. The pushing forward of Ki has made sure that Sunderland are no longer utterly inept creatively in the centre of the park, but there continues to be a huge burden on the Korean to create. If he has a poor game or plays deeper (as he did versus Stoke) then we look startling pedestrian in central midfield. This was demonstrated by the performances of Jack Colback and Seb Larsson on Wednesday night, with the two about as capable of proving incision as a pair of spoons.

Therefore the signing of someone in the mould of Ever Banega would be excellent if we could pull it off. The presence of another creator in our midfield could quite possibly be the key to turning some of our 0-0 draws in the first half of the season into wins in the second half.

Also, although the signing of Nacho Scocco is undoubtedly an exciting one, I can't help but feel we need some proven Premier League quality to come in at centre forward. Ideally someone who is perhaps at the fringes of their current team so should come relatively cheap. Shola Ameobi, likely to be pushed further down the pecking order at Newcastle after the arrival of Luuk De Jong, could well fit the bill.

What are your thoughts? Get involved via the comments section!

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