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New Squad Required: Sunderland’s want-away players highlight the desperate need for fresh blood

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Sunderland need to sell before buying, yet new faces are desperately required in order to develop a side capable of finding success.

Raith Rovers vs Alloa Athletic - Betfred Cup Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Stewart Donald admitted earlier this week that there are “very very few players who have indicated they wish to stay with the club next season.” And that notion was further reinforced when new recruitment chief Tony Coton admitted that sales will likely need to be made before any cash is splashed on new faces:

I think we need to get a few out of the door first. You’re not going to laden yourself with more expense with no promise of anything moving out but we’ve had enquiries for almost all our players.

When you consider the fact that the vast majority of this current squad no longer wish to remain on Wearside, then the club’s recruitment drive becomes increasingly important - even more so as players are set to report to pre-season training in around a fortnight‘s time.

Sunderland v West Ham United - Premier League
Possibly the first player set to exit the SoL this summer?
Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Indeed, fans have taken to social media asking owner Stewart Donald about the club’s lack of movement in the transfer market - something that the owner addressed in typically swift fashion:

Yes we have lots of signings to make and we will. We can’t be beaten to a signing of a player we don’t want to sign. We have plenty of targets and we haven’t lost any yet.

I am sure we can compete with the teams we need to for signatures. We have lots of targets. I know people want signings and see players being missed but we are on it and we can compete if we want a player!

Jack Ross has his targets and we are working on those. I am sure we will see some activity soon enough! We are not delaying, we are negotiating with our targets. There is a lot of work to do in and out. It will all begin soon enough.

That being said, fans will be eager to see who Jack Ross brings into the club ahead of a season many hope will be a successful one. Ten or more players will likely need to be acquired, though, and Sunderland supporters will be keen to see new faces brought into a club that has struggled chronically in recent years.

It goes without saying that Stewart Donald and his team will be working feverishly behind the scenes in order to assemble a side capable of finding success; however, you can also understand some fans’ concerns - it’s simply indicative of their desire for this club to succeed. They want to see action, though the process of identifying and acquiring new players is not always as simple as many might believe.

Fans should take some hope from Coton’s words, though. The former player has suggested this week that both he and Jack Ross have been working incredibly hard in order to bring in the kind of player Ross wants at the club going forward:

I think we’re already wearing a trench in the carpet between my office and the manager’s office. Obviously when pre-season is up and running they (Ross and his assistant James Fowler) will be out on the training pitch but at the moment we’re spending a lot of time together.

In terms of the team criteria, the manager’s told me his style of football and the type of players he’s looking for and he told me to go out and try to recruit them.

As always, actions speak louder than words, and fans will be hopeful that Coton and Ross are able to identify the right kind of player capable of helping our club move back in the right direction.

Fans are right in wanting movement, yet unfortunately it’s a case of patience being a virtue. Sunderland, despite desperately needing new players, simply cannot afford to jump in throw money at their issues hoping something sticks - it’s the root cause of our recent problems. Instead, fans have to put their faith and patience in the club’s new management. Hopefully, they can deliver the results we desperately long for.