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Poyet Targeting Four Positions for January - Is He Right?

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Gus is said to have drawn up his priority positions but, if the reports are accurate, has he got it right?

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Reports today suggest that Gus Poyet has solidified his January plans and is hoping to add FOUR new players to the Sunderland squad for the second half of the season.

So, looking at each one in turn, what positions are Poyet said to have targeted and how big a priority should they be?

Striker

It's no real surprise to see anyone heading into any transfer window looking for strikers. It's the one position everyone wants to strengthen. Literally everyone.

Sunderland's need is greater than most, though. There have been too many draws, not enough goals, and not enough penetration of opposition defences this season. With the team defending very well and generally staying involved in games, there is no question that the addition of a genuine goalscorer would have the greatest single impact on the Black Cats' performances.

Whether one materialises, we'll have to wait and see. Goalscorers don't come cheap and Sunderland aren't likely to be too keen on breaking the bank. Much may depend on if they can offload Jozy Altidore, and if so then for how much.

Priority: Borderline essential.

Full Back

It just wouldn't be Sunderland without wanting full backs, would it?

Oddly enough, though, I am not sure this time around it's all that important. Patrick van Aanholt has been a real find, and with Billy Jones, Anthony Reveillere and Santiago Vergini, there is both quality on the right-hand-side and passable cover for the left.

Don't get me wrong, another left back to compete with Van Aanholt would be great in an ideal world. If there is a Marcos Alonso style deal out there, then by all means gobble it up. It's far from a priority for me, though.

Priority: If there's anything left to spend at the end.

Winger

Again, this one surprised me. Poyet tends to only like playing with one winger (with a striker playing from the other flank), and the club are quite well served in the department. Adam Johnson is quality, Ricky Alvarez has offered loads of encouragement, Giaccherini is a great option, and even Will Buckley has his occasional upside.

Bruma has been linked, and I could see the attraction of they can locate someone with some serious pace to his game. That's something the Sunderland attack is missing and something that we've suffered for.

Unless a very specific kind of player can be found, though, I wouldn't be worrying too much about the wings.

Priority: Justifiable - but only to add some genuine pace.

Centre Back

Now we are talking. Right now, Sunderland's youngest two centre backs are owned by someone else and neither has looked consistently reliable in the position - and that's being kind to Sebastian Coates.

Wes Brown and John O'Shea have formed a solid partnership over the years, and we are lucky to have them. However, at some point of another the long-term future of the position needs to be looked at very carefully.

It may cost a fair chunk of cash and there don't really seem to be many around right now, but January may just be the ideal time to do it. That way a new defender will have six months to bed into the club with Brown still around to provide a safety net, and be far more ready for the responsibility next season.

Priority: Important.