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TRANSFER UPDATE: Stylish Wearside ‘keeper the answer to Sunderland’s issues between the sticks?

With Sunderland in dire need for reinforcements in the goalkeeping department this summer, could a linked local stopper be the tonic to our woes?

PA Images via Getty Images

After a season filled with goalkeeping howlers, Sunderland fans will be eager for the club to bring in some quality between the sticks. Local media suggested that somewhere close to 31 points had been thrown away by individual errors, and going forward that needs to change.

Lee Camp will depart the club this summer, and one would imagine that Robbin Ruiter will follow. Jason Steele and Max Stryjek could well remain; however, Steele has done little to inspire confidence, and Stryjek simply hasn’t been given a chance - perhaps suggesting the young Polish stopper might not be fancied.

Subsequently, Sunderland are in need of a steady presence at the back, and rumours have surfaced suggesting the club are interested in acquiring former academy product, Lee Robinson.

Robinson was released from the club at the tender age of thirteen, and went on to forge a successful career north of the border playing in the Scottish leagues.

Spells at Rangers, Queen of the South and Raith Rovers were successful, yet Robinson’s most recent spell at Dunfermline Athletic - where he lined up alongside Sunderland youngster Tom Beadling - has proven to be his most promising yet.

A local lad with bags of experience and a determination to prove his quality - and, of course, a passion for the club he grew up supporting - Robinson would be a solid acquisition for the club as we look to rejuvenate a side previously filled with players viewing the club as nothing more than an easy payday. He’d play with a pride and passion reminiscent of Sunderland’s young charges, though his experience would be vital.

As well as being a professional player, Robinson runs a company with his brothers Mark and Shaun called The Modern Day GK, which provides the following services:

Consisting of a Goalkeeper Technician and a Strength and Conditioning coach, The Modern Day GK combines all the expertise and experience required to teach and develop goalkeepers.

What we do goes beyond physical training; we help goalkeepers improve every aspect of their game, from instilling positivity into their style of play, to effectively managing their responsibility.

The Modern Day GK helps professionals recieve the recognition they deserve through developing the way managers and fans interpret talent.

The group’s aim is to help develop and culture a new breed of goalkeeper, and Robinson’s potential involvement with the club could be fantastic for the team’s emerging stoppers as we look to develop more talented, young, exciting players.

Robinson’s style is a joy to behold and will certainly captivate the Sunderland faithful. He is calm, confident, a brilliant shot-stopper, and superb with the ball in hand or at his feet. Deploying the Pickford-esque sidewinder kick to devastating effect, Lee is more than capable of launching attacks from his own area, and offers another option to Sunderland’s attack.

At the age of 31, Robinson is a player in his prime. The above videos showcase his genuine talent, but his most recent campaign’s statistics also lend substance to the claim that Robinson could potentially be an absolute bargain acquisition.

Analyzing the stopper’s performances for former Sunderland winger Allan Johnston’s Dunfermline this season provides some incredible numbers. Robinson was signed on New Year’s Day and played his first game the day after where he was awarded Man of the Match in a 2-0 win against rivals Falkirk. Three clean sheets on the bounce saw the stopper’s immediate worth highlighted, and Lee went on to complete an amazing season.

Within his first 16 games for Dunfermline, Robinson had produced 10 clean sheets, and after 20 league games, the Sunderland lad had managed an incredible 12 clean sheets thanks to a string of incredible displays (highlights videos above). Conceding a mere 11 goals in 18 league games, Robinson was an absolute rock in Dunfermline’s push for the play-offs, which recently ended in disappointment.

Sources close to Dunfermline suggest Robinson’s heroics could well have made the difference for the Scottish Championship side’s push into the playoffs. The Pars made the playoffs by a mere point, and Robinson’s fantastic form could have earned anywhere as many as 17 points: a far cry from Sunderland’s sorry stoppers’ performance this campaign.

Ultimately, Robinson is out of contract this summer, and Sunderland would be wise to follow up their interest with an offer. Free of charge, desperate to succeed at his boyhood club, and fresh from the season of his life - Robinson is a fantastic option for the club.

Analyzing Lee’s career, it’s clear to see that someone simply needs to place their faith in the stopper - this season’s Scottish Championship heroics lend credence to that claim. A host of Scottish sides are being linked with his signature, but a move back home would surely be an offer too good to refuse?

He deserves his chance to shine, and what better club to afford him that opportunity?

Sunderland are in a state of flux, and will need to look carefully for players capable of bringing passion, ambition and skill to a club in desperate need of it all. Lee Robinson is someone who fits the bill perfectly. Hopefully, Sunderland will be able to bring the gifted stopper home.

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