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FIVE players that Sunderland could look at as a short-term solution to our keeper problem

Sunderland’s two first choice goalkeepers are costing us points each and every week in the Championship. Could we perhaps look at the free agent market to see if a short-term replacement is available, or even from within, further down the ranks?

Ross Turnbull

Whilst it may sound like we’re scraping around at the bottom of the barrel - and, well, we are - former Chelsea man Ross Turnbull has never really done that poorly at any club he’s been at - he’s just never really been there long enough!

Chelsea v Inter Milan - UEFA Champions League Photo by Phil Cole/Getty Images

He’s yet to amass more than 50 appearances for one club, and has only played one game in the last two seasons following his release by Leeds United in the summer. He does have a Champions League winners medal, though, which counts for something... right?

Tom Muyters

Whilst he’s very much an unknown name on these shores, the 32-year-old Belgian has a decent pedigree and seems a steady, if unspectacular option.

Currently a free agent after spells at Excelsior and Samsunspor, he’s known for being a particular good shot stopper (the opposite of Mr Ruiter) and good at claiming cross (the opposite of Mr Steele) - he’s also got seemingly decent distribution, well... if the attached video is anything to go by.

Granted, he’d be a bit of punt at this stage, but I’m not sure anyone could perform worse than the two clowns we have at the moment.

Shay Given

Hey, worst case scenario... at least the person responsible for deciding which former players to wish a happy birthday to on the club’s official Twitter account will be happy!

On a serious note, it would be controversial even at this late stage in his career, but I’d much rather have a 41-year-old, out of practice Shay Given in the net than Ruiter or Steele.

Everton v Stoke City - Premier League Photo by Lynne Cameron/Getty Images

In this case I have no concern for who he used to play for, because at the very least I wouldn’t be sh*tting myself whenever a team gets a free kick 25-yards out (well, unless it’s Kieran Richardson standing over it) or whenever an in-swinging corner comes in to the box.

Eduardo Gottardi

Taking a punt on another virtually unknown foreign goalkeeper would be an immense risk, but there’s certainly enough pedigree here to consider former Maritimo ‘keeper Gottardi as a short-term option between the sticks.

At 32, he’s in the prime age group for a goalkeeper and has amassed over fifty games for Portuguese Primeria Liga side C.D. Nacional whom he left only one year ago. There’s likely better options available, but the crisis is such that the search net needs to be far and wide - and done quickly.

Max Stryjek

The Polish under-23 goalkeeper is rated highly by the club and has been turning in impressive performances for a couple of seasons now at that level for us.

Stryjek was steady in the cameo performances he got this pre-season and certainly did himself no harm in any of the outings showcasing a level of ability which might suggest that he’s more than capable of playing first team football.

Sunderland v Everton: Premier League 2 Photo by Ian Horrocks/Getty Images

It’s a shame he got injured so early into his loan spell at Accrington Stanley, as experience is perhaps what is holding us back from giving him the opportunity to grab the number one slot. Still, he’s 21 - maybe now - or whenever we an recall him from his loan deal with the League Two side - is the time to let him shine?

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