Sunderland have announced today they are releasing twelve players throughout the U21 and first team today with veteran player Phil Bardsley deciding against a new contract to join Mark Hughes' rejuvenated Stoke, but I cannot help feel this should benefit them more than hindering.
The list of twelve most likely will not end it on terms of departures this summer with players such as Cabral, Valentin Roberge, Modibo Diakite and Alfred N'Diaye all most likely wanting to leave for more first team action. It doesn't take a genius to say that Sunderland really need to invest this summer as well as look for some good bosmans to keep the books balanced.
We have been in the situation before where we feel that our team can only be improved then find the team clamoring at the bottom half of the table and questioning whoever has been placed in charge of Sunderland grueling recruitment drive.
Surely, this time they have to get it right.
Lee Congerton, the new Director of Football who was appointed in the second half of the season should have some good knowledge of the transfer market having worked as a Chief Scout and Director of Football at Chelsea and Hamburg respectively.
Not only does Congerton need to plug in the gaps, he needs to improve on some already weak positions at the club which includes the centre of midfield where Sunderland have lacked a real play-maker and center half where John O'Shea looks susceptible when it comes to the pace of the Premier League.
He also has to do this all while trying to keep Gus Poyet happy and not make the same mistakes De Fanti did when Paolo Di Canio was head coach and missing the opportunity to sign Tom Huddlestone from Tottenham.
Sunderland have still been somewhat recovering from the Steve Bruce era which left some undesirable players on high wages, though most now have departed from the club so they can move on and try to hit the ground running. This also needs to come quickly which may not be easy due to the World Cup this summer.
Time is needed for the new players to gel and get used to the pace of Premier League football as I can imagine that the club will be aiming for South Americans as well as Bundesliga players with Poyet and Congerton having connections in those territories.
However, the transfer market is not only the only place that needs some care with the academy seeming to be not producing the right type of player for Sunderland's game plan. The club have seen this season promising players such as Louis Laing and Alex Gorrin who were tipped for potential first team places being released and not having issues finding clubs to move on to.
Poyet has said to be concerned about it and wants the same playing style throughout the academy and the first team which would offer the stability Sunderland have been wanting with a new manager coming almost once every season meaning he is willing to stay for the long-term.
It is not all doom and gloom at Sunderland we have seen some promising players come through from Roberto De Fanti, such as, El Hadji Ba and Charis Mavrias who have seen little chances in the first team, but have shown glimpses they have what it takes to make it in the Premier League though it could be seen as a risk to throw them into the deep end without at least some loan experience which Duncan Watmore seems to be benefiting from in Scotland with Hibernian.
What do you think needs to happen this summer? Does Ellis Short need to invest a good chunk of the television money into the club for new players? Do we need to concentrate more on youth and take a chance on them?