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Fan Letters: “Has Roker Report heard anything about Sunderland’s move for Lawrence Shankland?”

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RR reader Dave is worried that the talk around Sunderland’s move for free agent striker Lawrence Shankland has gone quiet, whilst Paul Eden offers up suggestions for the type of players he thinks we should sign. Email us: RokerReport@Yahoo.co.uk!

St Mirren v Edinburgh City - Betfred Cup Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

The proposed chase of Lawrence Shankland seems to gone very quiet, I would prefer him to Marquis - has Roker report heard anything?

David Gardiner

Ed’s Note [Gav]: I’ve heard nothing concrete David, though we were contacted by someone anonymously the other day to say he’d been told Shankland was at the AOL last week for talks. Who knows if that’s true though - these things always happen during transfer season and the rumour mill is in full swing! What we do know about Shankland is that he’s definitely leaving Ayr, he’s up for grabs on a free and he’s worked with Jack Ross before.

I wouldn’t rule it out, but unfortunately it appears that Sunderland can’t actually green light any potential transfers until the ownership situation is signed off and, as of writing, that hasn’t been done yet. The potential new owners plan on bringing John Park in as Director of Football, and it’s understood he’s already lining up deals ahead of the takeover going ahead. If Shankland is one of those players then I doubt we’ll see it go through until we know for definite that Mark Campbell’s group of investors are officially on board.

St Mirren v Edinburgh City - Betfred Cup Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Watching England’s lionesses it really struck me how their best players are all the types of player Sunderland need the male equivalent of.

Steph Houghton (centre half) - a real leader on the pitch, never puts a foot wrong, uses the ball well, strong in the challenge, great positional awareness and has enough pace to tidy up any errors from others.

Lucy Bronze (right back) - an athletic right back up and down the pitch, doesn’t seem to put a foot wrong, never gets beaten for pace and gets into some great positions delivering great crosses.

Jill Scott (Centre Midfield) - Tall strong midfielder, box to box, great link up play, holds the ball up and brings others into play by moving the ball on quickly into dangerous positions. She also wins her fair share of headers.

Ellen White (Striker) - Clinical, works hard, always on the move, closes down the defence constantly putting them under pressure which creates havoc in the opposition defence forcing them to clear their lines, allowing England to pick up the ball.

Please Mr Ross take a look find their male equivalents and buy them. It’s where we were lacking last season and would allow Luke O’Nien to be moved into midfield.

Paul Eden

Ed’s Note [Gav]: I’ve not watched any of the women’s World Cup unfortunately so can’t speak of the players that you’ve mentioned, but those are certainly characteristics of players we’d like to see at Sunderland. I’ve said this before, but I feel we need a large number of players due to the gaps left behind by departed players and also the fact that there are players who are still expected to leave. I don’t envy the task that the club have in finding these players, but we can only hope that our transfer activity ramps up soon.

Sunderland v Wycombe Wanderers - Sky Bet League One Photo by Harriet Lander/Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

I have just watched, on tv, the England youths being beaten by Rumania. Last night I watched the German youths give the finest display from any youth team that I have ever seen, when they destroyed Serbia. The question I raise is WHY is England youth team so poor? There has to be something radically wrong with the English system of youth development.

During the past weeks/months there has been considerable debate on the forum, with fans offering their differing opinions on what is wrong at SAFC. Those views are honestly expressed and show concern for the failures of the present system that the club operates, but in my view it goes much further.

The rules that seem to apply in England for youngsters allow the more successful clubs to identify and ‘’hoover up’ young talent from less successful clubs, to the extent that they must have dozens of youngsters on their books for no other reason than to loan them out to clubs in the UK or in the Continent, for financial benefit. The actual development and welfare of the youngsters is secondary to financial rewards.

We have seen recently how this has operated, when talented youngsters have be tempted away from SAFC, the club that had nursed them for many years. Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and a Manchester Club being involved. Once the approach has been made by these clubs there is nothing the parent club can do to hold on to the youngsters.

In the vast majority of cases the youngsters never ever appear for the club that has hoovered them up, and their development is slowed, and in some cases probably retarded.

This system does of course hinder the England international team and produces results such as we have just witnessed against Romania.

The time has surely come for change both for the sake of the youngsters and for English clubs and football in general. A limit should be placed on the number of youngsters that a club can have on their books and this must be introduced quickly, similarly there must be limits on the number of young players that can be loaned out to other clubs The FINANCE RULES EVERYTHING has to be ditched.

I would also pose the question what happens to youth players development in other countries, particularly Germany?

David McKeever

Ed’s Note [Gav]: Generally speaking, the England youth teams always do well in the tournaments and a common complaint over the years has been that it doesn’t replicate on the national stage! Personally I’d be looking to replace Boothroyd as the U21s manager. His club career was unspectacular and the team bombing out at the tournament has very little to do with the talent at his disposal, in my opinion.