Sunderland’s midfield appears pretty well-stocked but chronically lacks in height and athleticism. And whilst I’m not suggesting that we just flood the centre of the park with monsters it would be nice to have options, particularly in front of the defence.
Rohan Ince stands at 6”3 and, at the age of 25, he needs to re-find himself at a club that can afford him with plenty of game-time across the entirety of the season.
He was released by Brighton & Hove Albion this summer having spent last season on loan at Bury, and has spent the last few weeks on trial with Charlton Athletic - and, in a strange turn of events, he’ll play for Lee Bowyer’s side against his former club at The Valley tonight in a friendly.
He’s a good age, comes from good stock and I think he’d give us something different in a position in our squad that lacks variety. One to keep an eye on.
Whilst many Sunderland supporters have probably had their fill of maverick Championship wingers in the last twelve months or so, it’d be rude not to run the rule over former Middlesbrough attacker Mustapha Carayol.
He signed for Ipswich Town in January on a short-term deal and impressed, but an injury curtailed his time there and he’s now back on the lookout for a new club.
He’s powerful and athletic from out wide and whilst we aren’t exactly short of wingers, Carayol - like the aforementioned Rohan Ince - has attributes that would offer us something different in a position that lacks variety.
I’d much rather see us go out and spend some money in order to replace the hole left behind by the departures of Joel Asoro and Callum McManaman, but if we don’t I wouldn’t be against giving Carayol a shot. He’s got a good record as a Championship player and plenty of experience, so there can be no doubts that he’d offer us something if he’s fit and raring to go.
32-year old defender Matt Mills has been linked with a move to Sunderland over recent days, and it’s my understanding that he’s one of a few defenders that the club are considering as they look to further strengthen the spine of the team with solid, proven players.
He’s been captain of almost every team he’s played for - Reading, Leicester, Bolton and Nottingham Forest to name but a few - and has played almost exclusively in the Championship throughout his career, bar a couple of League One loan spells earlier in his career and a solitary Premier League appearance for Manchester City.
Like recent signing Glenn Loovens, he’s got a boat-load of experience and would add physicality to a team that desperately needs it - I couldn’t really argue with the decision to sign him if he is someone we decide to press ahead with.
Mills has had a tough time of late but when you look at his record, it’s actually quite good.
This suggestion is slightly left-field and not really one that I’d expect to come off, but even still - what a player!
Norwich fans are still devastated that they allowed him to leave at the end of last season, and at Carrow Road he’s a God following ten excellent years with the club in which he made over 350 appearances, scoring 53 goals playing regularly as a second striker or as a creative outlet in the hole.
He’s yet to find himself a new club and I’m not really sure why - he’s a top Championship player and whilst age isn’t on his side, he’s more than capable of playing at a decent level.
Sunderland haven’t really had a player like Hoolahan since Stephané Sessegnon left and on a free I can’t imagine that there are many more talented players still looking for a club.
One that, in my opinion, we should definitely keep in our thoughts.