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Fan Letters: “Sunderland should sign free agent Tom Carroll!”

In today’s fan letters, Roker Report readers Dean Hardy and Jacob R give their views on Sunderland’s transfer business this summer. What do you think? Email us: RokerReport@yahoo.co.uk!

Queens Park Rangers v Swansea City - FA Cup third round Photo by Athena Pictures/Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Should I retain the eternal optimism I had in my teens? Looking at the table, seeing where we can take points from fixtures in the season we were relegated from the old division 2?

Or should I be realistic and think, we’ve signed four frees, last year’s biggest payout was for George Dobson, wage cap has now increased restrictions, so where do our fans realistically think we are going to be in the wage offers to Marcus Maddison.

I know he didn’t tear up any trees at Hull, but surely he’s a league one player, and can command a league one wage. Heart says yeah sign him, but are we in a position to?

Personally, as much as I hate to say it, it is very, very likely given his desire to earn, and probably play at a better level, that we would be out of the running. If his love for Sunderland overrides that, then who knows!

Wyke/Leadbitter. A blind man on a galloping horse can see Leadbitter hasn’t got the athleticism for first team football. Yes he keeps the ball, but other than from set pieces his creativity is poor, his passes are always very safe.

Wyke? I honestly think I’ve seen players of his level or better in Sunday football. He’s a trier and he mixes it, but his output isn’t good enough, either scoring or creating and personally people laugh at Danny Graham, but he has far more nous than Wyke and was Blackburns championship player of the year two year ago.

He’s not really what I’d hope for, but again my opinion is he’s a better operator than Wyke, and will create and score more in a similar amount of games at this level, than Wyke.

This is where we are unfortunately!

Ha’way the lads!

Dean Hardy

Ed’s Note [Rich]: Cheers for your letter, Dean. I’m pushing 40 now and still find myself getting hopeful ahead of a new season. For example, I still expect Leadbitter and Wyke will play important roles in this season’s promotion push, albeit by offering different options from the bench - perhaps when we need to slow and see out a frantic game in the last 20 minutes.

Like I said in a previous fan letter’s response, like you I can’t see Marcus Maddison signing for us this summer but you never know. The squad salary cap has thrown everything up in the air, and if he is left with a choice between signing a £100,000 contract for a year here, with a massive promotion bonus, or trying his hand in the MLS, for example, we might pull off a shock deal.

When it comes to Danny Graham, I think your instincts are right. According to a Blackburn supporting mate of mine, he is considered an absolute legend at Ewood Park and should be able to do us a decent job at this level. I know many people’s opinions on him are shaped by his unsuccessful period at the Stadium of Light a few years back, but they were different times in a different league. Personally, I hope we do bring him back and he’ll score us a few this term.

Sunderland v Carlisle : Pre-Season Friendly
Charlie Wyke scoring during the pre-season friendly between Sunderland AFC and Carlisle United
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

After a chat with a mate we realised that former prodigy Tom Carroll is a free agent after leaving Swansea, I think he is worth a risk.

The same with Maddison, if we want to go up we have to take risks with players. If it all clicks we could win this league comfortably, although I’m aware nothing's ever as easy as it seems.

Jacob R

Ed’s Note [Rich]: Thanks for the tip, Jacob. I see that Tom Carroll has been without a club since the end of January this year, when his contract was terminated by the Swans. He’s in his prime at 28, and is a player with a good pedigree coming through at Spurs. But as we witnessed with both Kyle Lafferty and Tommy Smith last season, bringing in players who have been without a club for a significant period of time is not often fruitful.

That being said, if he is physically and psychologically up to it, fits within the salary cap and Parkinson’s system, then maybe someone with top-level experience and top-level standards would be a good addition.

As Bill Shankly once said, form is temporary but class is permanent.

Queens Park Rangers v Swansea City - FA Cup third round
Free-agent Tom Carroll in action for Swansea City last winter
Photo by Athena Pictures/Getty Images