Who is he and where is he from?
Jack Baldwin was born in Barking, London, on June 30th 1993. He played locally for Faversham Town in non-league before signing for Hartlepool United whilst studying for his A-level exams.
After a bright spell in the North East, Baldwin then moved to Peterborough as a twenty-year-old for an impressive fee of £500,000. Speaking to the Barking and Dagenham Post after the move to Peterborough, former teacher Wayne Baldacchino said:
Having said many things about Jack when he first signed for Hartlepool United a few years ago now it is fantastic for him to be seen as a highly rated player, now moving upwards in his career.
Value should not mean much although half a million pounds sounds amazing! Jack has always been a very down to earth level headed student both on and off the pitch. He has a very calm head on young shoulders and is one of the nicest people you will ever meet.
A string of impressive displays earned Baldwin the captaincy of the club under Steve Evans, who called the defender “the perfect professional”.
Impressive soundbites that highlight Baldwin’s personal qualities.
Sunderland fans - just to give you an insight in to calibre of the man you’ve just signed...— Hartlepool United FC (@Official_HUFC) July 28, 2018
Jack Baldwin left #Pools in 2014 but he’s continued to pay £1 every week since into a lottery supporting our Youth Development.
He won a prize last February but donated it back.
What position does he play?
Baldwin is primarily a centre half, though at times he has been deployed in a deep midfield role during his career.
Standing at little over six-feet tall Baldwin isn’t the most physically imposing defender, though with the addition of both Glenn Loovens and Alim Ozturk Jack Ross could well be after someone with a little more pace in the middle of the defensive third. Instead, Baldwin is said to be more of a ball-playing defender and describes himself as “a passionate player,” who is a leader on the pitch.
Baldwin made over forty starts for Peterborough last season; however, his career has been somewhat hampered with a couple of knee injuries in the past, which some Posh fans have suggested may have hindered his development at London Road.
Hopefully, a fresh start with Jack Ross’ side is just the ticket needed to help Baldwin to continue improving over the coming months and years.
Who has he played for?
As already mentioned, Baldwin moved from non-league to Hartlepool United before moving to London Road.
Baldwin has an enormous amount of experience in League One, completing almost 150 games where he scored 6 goals and provided 6 assists across 7 campaigns.
Jack Ross clearly wants vocal, passionate leadership and Baldwin seems to be a good fit in a side that is desperate for experience ahead of the coming campaign. His understanding of the league and its opposition will likely be vital moving forward.
Who else has been after him?
Baldwin has been linked with moves right across the UK throughout this summer.
From the Scottish Premiership to the English Championship, the defender has been linked with a host of clubs, including Dundee, Aberdeen, Sheffield Wednesday, and Bolton Wanderers.
Told the fee for Jack Baldwin to Sunderland is £200,000. Posh also have a sell on % from any future transfer.— Keith Downie (@SkySports_Keith) July 27, 2018
Physically & technically, what is he like?
As already mentioned, standing just over six-feet tall, Baldwin isn’t a big, bruising defender. However, Sunderland could certainly use a more agile centre-back capable of starting attacks - and that’s likely why Baldwin has been signed.
Baldwin describes himself as a passionate player, and does like to get stuck into a tackle; that being said, 6 goals and 6 assists in 150 games at League One level is pretty good for a central defender - hopefully he can carry that on with Sunderland.
Posh fans have noted that the former Hartlepool man can be prone to an error or two, but that remains to be seen. Fingers crossed this new addition will prove to be astute business.
Here’s a video of him scoring a canny header, by the way!
So... what’s the verdict?
Nearly every review of Baldwin has been glowing in terms of his character. From charity work, to buying into the community - Baldwin seems to be a consummate professional with a solid social conscience.
Sunderland fans should be pleased with this solid piece of business - a good defender with a humble personality, it’s exactly the kind of player we need moving forward.
At the age of twenty-five Baldwin still has plenty of time to develop, and with Jack Ross as his boss, Baldwin could well continue to grow into a very fine player.
Sounds like great business!