Sunderland have confirmed the signing of Cardiff’s Lee Camp on a season long loan deal from Cardiff City.
Thirty-three-year-old Camp brings a wealth of experience to the side with almost 500 career appearances to his name. Starting out with Derby County, Camp went onto make a number of appearances for the likes of QPR, Nottingham Forest, Bournemouth and Rotherham United before signing for the Bluebirds in the summer where he has yet to make a first-team appearance after recovering from multiple injuries.
Speaking to SAFC.com, Chris Coleman said:
Lee is a huge personality who has been there and done it at this level.
He’s an experienced goalkeeper and has been here before with Rotherham, so knows what it takes to get us where we belong.
In the wake of a season filled with goalkeeping blunders, Camp will likely be in contention to stake a claim for the starting berth should he impress in training. With Robbin Ruiter looking shaky, and Jason Steele failing to impress, Chris Coleman clearly felt the need to find an experienced head to occupy the space between the sticks.
Knee and groin injuries have hindered Camp’s chances of first team football in recent times, yet Neil Warnock was very keen to secure the Northern Irishman's services in the summer. He told Wales Online:
He’s what I call a ‘Steady Eddie’. Lee has always done well for me.
We’ve now got a really good trio of goalkeepers. Neil Etheridge – a big lad with plenty to prove, Brian Murphy – who did well for me last season, and Lee, who offers experience, reliability and good decision making.
We caught up with The Star’s Rotherham United writer, Paul Davis, to give us his insight as to whether Camp’s addition is a promising one or not.
RR: Hi Paul, thanks for your time. Sunderland have brought in Lee Camp from Cardiff after our two first choice keepers have has seasons wrought with goalkeeping blunders, but just what kind of keeper have we signed?
PD: Lee Camp is a hero in the eyes of Rotherham United fans after his exploits in helping them survive in the Championship in 2015/16. He was a runaway winner of the Player of the Year award and deservedly so.
He’s not the bravest goalkeeper I’ve ever seen, but his shot-stopping was sensational. Millers supporters loved him and the way he celebrated in front of them after wins. He’’s a thoroughly decent bloke as well.
RR: Do you think he’s the kind of goalkeeper that acts as a calming influence for his defence?
PD: He certainly doesn’t make his defence panic in any kind of way. He’s not a keeper who’ll come and claim everything, but his defenders will learn that. His instinct is to stay close to his line. It works for him because he’s capable of unbelievable saves.
My only worry would be how long he was out through injury.
The acquisition of Camp demonstrates Chris Coleman’s desire for a steady head between the sticks. Camp, a seasoned pro, fits the bill nicely, and can hopefully instill a sense of calm into our often shaky back four.
A great shot-stopper by all accounts, Camp will be a welcome relief after a season of goalkeeping gaffes - provided he works his way into a starting position.
A seemingly shrewd signing, fans will hope that Camp can provide the same kind of shot-stopping heroics that made him such a fan-favourite at Rotherham.