Dear Roker Report,
Do you think with new ownership, Sunderland will target rebuilding in any specific manner?
Do you think there will be more signings for the reserves or first team from the lower leagues, non-leagues, Irish leagues, and Scottish leagues for instance; or more of a model like Brentford with more international signings?
Also, any idea what center-halves we might target, that seems to be one of the biggest areas of need, as there are no good young ones or old ones?
Ed’s Note [Gav]: I think that we have to be strategic with our recruitment. We can’t expect that EVERY player will be a quality one, or that we’ll spend ridiculous sums of money in order to fully replenish our squad, but it’s about bringing in players with the right attitude and desire to succeed - regardless of their age or their previous background in football.
In recent years we’ve signed far too many players who, to be blunt, were simply has-beens. That cannot be the case any longer. Instead, experienced players at this level mixed with ambitious youngsters and our own academy talents is what I believe will eventually carry us forward from this point.
It’s difficult, because we have so many players to replace, but it certainly isn’t impossible. Look at the job done by Tony Mowbray this season at Blackburn Rovers - he followed pretty much the exact path I just explained, and it worked. Mowbray picked up decent freebies, spent the money he did have on players like Bradley Dack (who has been an absolute standout at this level), and complimented them with talented youngsters from their own academy system.
I think the new owners will be fully aware we have to bounce straight back, and that any success hinges on decent investment on their part. It won’t take a fortune for us to put together a decent squad in League One, but we still have to spend money and spend it wisely.
Top League One players like Marcus Maddison are available, but will we splash out the money it’ll take to get him? Same goes for Mo Eisa at Cheltenham - he’s being tipped for big things, so is he the sort of talent we’ll target and look to develop with a view to perhaps selling him on again down the line?
It’s all up in the air at present, as at this time of writing we have no idea what the intentions of the new owner are or who the manager is going to be, but whatever the case may be we do have to lay some groundwork this season to ensure we’re able to kick on from here in the future. Our recruitment has to be spot on.