clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

ROKER RAMBLE: The Transfer Window Debrief

New, comments

After the closure of the summer transfer window, @DjRoberts22 takes a look at Sunderland’s activity and questions how successful it was for the club.

Alex Livesey/Getty Images

The wheeling and dealing is over and Sunderland are now left with the squad that will see them through until January, but do they have enough to be competitive, climb the table and avoid another relegation-threatened season?

After the transfer deadline acquisition of DeAndre Yedlin from Tottenham on a season-long loan and Monday's long-awaited recapture of Fabio Borini from Liverpool, the club's summer strengthening has saw eight new faces arrive on Wearside.

In a window where Dick Advocaat actively pursued a half-a-dozen quality signings, Sunderland have battled through difficult circumstances to secure a number of top talents to aid their pursuit for a comfortable Premier League season.

Impressive starts by Jeremain Lens, Ola Toivonen and Yann M'Vila has assured the Sunderland faithful that the sought-after quality has arrived, whilst the returning Borini has reinforced that hope. Reservations, however, are still there for the other in-comings, with the jury still out on Adam Matthews, Sebastian Coates and, despite a solid performance last Saturday at Villa Park, Younes Kaboul.

Positives can be drawn by the attacking threat that the club now possesses though, as the new look frontline is full of pace and skill capable to harm any defence in the league. We are all aware what a match-fit Fabio Borini brings, whereas Lens has brought a direct and powerful edge to our side. If you couple those with Jermain Defoe and Adam Johnson, both who have the required pedigree to cause problems, the options higher up the pitch can be argued as the best the club has had since the Quinn and Phillips days.

Unfortunately, that strength in options hasn't filtered down to the lower quarters of the team. The question that will now linger for the forthcoming weeks will be the capabilities of the back four. After a start that has seen Sunderland ship ten goals in just four games, there are evident limitations in the back four - particularly in the full back positions.

With both Patrick Van Aanholt and Billy Jones struggling for form - although the former's performances of late have improved - the focus on the pair's defensive attributes is at a high. The deadline day capture of DeAndre Yedlin has eased some of the worry, although the untested American will have to prove he is up to the task of being a Premier League defender.

However, in the centre, positives are most definitely noticeable. John O'Shea has returned to the side, bringing experience and organisation to the back line, which was desperately lacking in the opening two matches of the season. On top of this, Younes Kaboul looked every bit of the defender the club thought they had stole for £3million from Tottenham against Aston Villa.

In a further positive outlook, the pace that both Van Aanholt and Yedlin possess will become an extremely strong asset for Sunderland in a league where counter-attacking speedsters are taking full backs by storm. Couple that with the defensive support that Lens, Johnson and Borini will provide, an improvement in full back performances are sure to happen.

All in all, if the defensive side of the team does improve, the summer transfer window certainly doesn't appear to have been a bad one. With the financial limitations at the club, the job Dick Advocaat and, in particular, Lee Congerton have done is intelligent, sensible and impressive. Make no mistake about that, and it is certainly a far cry from the summer budgeting attempt by Roberto De Fanti.

What will be seen as a disappointment, however, is the failure to shift the copious amount of deadwood that lurks around the Academy of Light. Liam Bridcutt, Will Buckley, Charis Mavrias, Valentin Roberge, Danny Graham and Steven Fletcher all remain at the club, picking up the wages that very may well have went on the big, powerful forward that Dick Advocaat wished for throughout the summer.

Their presence is a constant reminder of the shortcomings and mismanagements of previous reigns at the club. The clubs' inability to sell these on is of course a massive frustration, but it's also worthwhile to remember the cards that Congerton and Advocaat were dealt with in their attempts sell on.

And, to turn it into a positive at least, next season, if we are still a Premier League side, these wages should finally be available to reinvest in further team-improving acquisitions. Delightful!