Dear Roker Report,
After listening to Monday’s Roker Rapport Podcast, I’ve been thinking about the upcoming January transfer window.
It was the interesting point Connor (I think) made about signing back-ups during this window that made me re-evaluate what I think we should be looking for.
We are, for a change, in a position of strength in this window and won’t be shopping for an expensive list of plugs to fill holes in a leaking ship. In my opinion, we should hold off on any signings.
I think this will be a very tricky window to NOT buy anyone. Being a big club that is winning will naturally bring attention from agents with clients looking to spin moves to Wearside, but it’s important to realise we really don’t need many players.
We have strength in depth in every position and that’s without several key injuries, not to mention loanees who could return. I would say that even if we lose our 3/4 big earners it would be prudent to ask the question ‘do we NEED replacements?’ Just because our pockets will have a bit of added depth doesn’t mean we should fill them straight up.
I say save the money for the summer when we need to spend big.
Ed’s Note [Gav]: It’s a really interesting point that you make, but not one that I really agree with. With Wyke and Watmore returning back to fitness around about the time other clubs will be looking to add quality players to their ranks, it does make you wonder just how much movement we’ll see.
I disagree with you on us having strength in depth in every position. I think we’re clearly lacking in central defence - Jack Baldwin and Tom Flanagan have shown they aren’t imposing enough, and Glenn Loovens and Alim Ozturk seemingly pose absolutely no threat in terms of threatening them for a place in the side, so adding someone with height and presence is essential, I think.
It’s annoying how much we’re lacking when it comes to corners, at both ends of the pitch. We struggle to defend them, and despite winning loads of our own we never seem to make them count. I think that’s a lot to do with the lack of height in our team, so bringing on board someone who can not only offer us something different in defence but can also assist us on set pieces is pretty crucial.
I also worry about the right back position. Donald Love has been injured for most of the season, is recovering from surgery as I write this and, even when he is fit, he struggles. Adam Matthews has had a couple of small injuries this season, but his career to date shows he’s susceptible to them and we have to be wary that if he goes down injured over Christmas, we don’t really have another right back to replace him with.
On top of that, you rightly point out that players could leave. We’re going to get offers for our better performers - fingers crossed we can withstand the attention and get to February having not lost anyone, but I suspect we’ll be at least one or two bodies lighter.
I guess it’s a case of ‘wait and see’. As it stands we don’t have the edge over the other teams at the top, and if bringing in some additional players who can push us on and improve us gets us closer to our end goal of promotion then we should absolutely do it.