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OPINION: Sunderland make statement as they sign ambitious midfield all-rounder - is he any good?

Today Sunderland will confirm the signing of Max Power on loan from Wigan. The midfielder looks an exicting signing, so we caught up with Latics fan Richard Pike to get the lowdown.

No pyro, no party! Power celebrating in style towards the back-end of last season.

To the pure glee of all Sunderland-supporting Simpsons fans, Jack Ross has acquired the services of the man who’s name you’d love to touch, but you mustn’t touch; his name sounds good in your ear, but when you say it, you mustn’t fear cos his name can be said by anyone - that’s right, Max Power has joined The Lads from Wigan Athletic.

As such, we ventured out in search of an expert opinion on Sunderland’s latest acquisition, and thankfully we found someone who has the inside scoop on the former Lactics man - so read on to find out all about our latest signing.

Northampton Town v Wigan Athletic - Sky Bet League One
NOT named after a Homer Simpson moment of genius.
Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images

Roker Report (RR): First of all, thanks for agreeing to answer our questions. So, who is Max Power?

Richard Pike (RP): We signed Max at the age of 22 from Tranmere Rovers upon their relegation from the Football League. He is a box to box midfielder who is capable of contributing in both attack and defence. In his first season with us in 2015-16 when we won League One, he scored 6 goals for us in 44 appearances. In our 2017-18 League One title winning team, Max had similar statistics, 40 appearances and 5 goals.

RR: What’s your thoughts on the move in general?

RP: In our 2016/17 Championship season sandwiched in between these two seasons, he failed to find the net in 42 first team appearances, and generally struggled. The Championship was simply a step too far for Max at the time. But we all saw him perform much better last season and upon hearing the news today that Max had been sold to Sunderland, I and most other fans did feel sorry to see him go.

He would not have been a starter this season for us. I guess he might have wanted to play more first team football, so for him the move makes sense.

RR: What type of player is Power, in terms of his playing style? He seems like a real all round central midfielder.

RP: Yes, he is a good all round player in midfield, at 25 he is entering into his peak years and I think there is scope to push on and improve more. Despite his struggles last time in the Championship, he does seem like a signing beyond just this season.

Wigan Athletic v Manchester City - The Emirates FA Cup Fifth Round Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

RR: Did he have any significant strengths that made him really stand out at the Latics?

RP: Power’s strengths are his passing; he is a tidy passer of the ball in midfield and when paired up with a solid, good quality defensive midfielder should be a fine performer for any team at League One level. He also possesses a good work rate off the ball and will help to shield a defence rather well.

He was an important factor for our counter attacks, beginning such moves with some strong runs and good, quick passes along the deck.

RR: And his greatest weaknesses?

RP: I think one area Power could improve is his attacking play. Although his goal returns were decent statistically, his overall play could be improved. To this end, I would like to see him get forward a little more sometimes as I really think he could get into double figures for a season with the right coaching.

This being said, he can pick out a real screamer.

RR: Did anything about Power really make him stand out from the pack at Wigan? He seems like a really hard-working lad with an infectious personality.

RP: Last year was easily his best for us. At the start of the season he was looking for a move back to the Championship and was initially frozen out by Cook. However, to his upmost credit, Max knuckled down in training, Cook reinstated him to the team and everything snowballed from there.

He has a really good personality. He is a hard worker and interacts with fans a lot. Not to mention he always came over to the fans at the end of home and away games applauding the support.

RR: We have some real quality in central midfield this season, but we genuinely lack some proper physical presence in the middle. Could he be described as a player to help remedy this?

RP: He has an element of physicality about him, he isn't one of the strongest players physically but he certainly is no lightweight and will not get knocked off the ball easily.

RR: Finally, do you think he will be a successful signing up here?

RP: I genuinely think he will do well at Sunderland; his 2017/18 season in League One was a huge improvement on his 2015/16 season and a player with two League One titles to his name is a good signing cannot be underestimated.

I wish him well, he was a player that improved a lot for us last season and impressed me with how he went up a level in performance. I think the reason for his departure is not just the step up in calibre, but Cook would also like a more defensively minded midfielder to go alongside our captain Sam Morsy.

Well, there you have it, Power sounds like a good signing! Maybe we’ll see the new lad this weekend as we travel to Luton for what will be a hotly contested game? Fingers crossed he’s the kind of player we need as we look for a successful season.

We’d also like to thank Richard for getting in touch with us, and providing us with the inside info we were keen to hear. Give him a follow on Twitter!

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