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Talking Points: Should Sunderland sign on-loan Wolves defender Dion Sanderson permanently?

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Should Sunderland try to sign Dion Sanderson permanently? Are we seeing the best version of Max Power? And, are we impressed by what Kyril Louis-Dreyfus had to say in his first interview?

Shrewsbury Town v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One Photo by Malcolm Couzens/Getty Images

Sunderland fans heard Kyril Louis-Dreyfus speak for the first time - what did you think of his interview?

We all love to see our team win three points, but one of the best parts of yesterday’s victory over Fleetwood was hearing from the new Sunderland owner - Kyril Louis-Dreyfus.

Club-controlled interviews are always very PR savvy, but I enjoyed the 23-year-old’s openness, particularly his criticism of the cost-cutting and asset stripping procedures that have occurred since Ellis Short’s neglect at the end of our Premier League tenure.

Louis-Dreyfus discussed how this is a fresh start for the football club, as well as how he has long-term plans in place for restructures that will help rebuild the club back to the Premier League team it once was.

He appears to be an individual who loves football and wants to make a difference to both the football club and the city itself, the segments discussing the supporters is something he highlighted as one of the reasons why he was interested in purchasing the club.

The appointments made to the club’s board this week are also impressive, Igor Levin and Patrick Treuer both possess experience with elite business firms, with Levin having previously worked with Marseille.

Recruiting people who have worked with elite football clubs or world rebounded business groups makes a monumental difference to hiring people who have worked at non-league club Eastleigh.

Also, little features such as improving the viewing experience and quality go a long way with supporters, he did not have to do that, but it perhaps shows Louis-Dreyfus cares about club standards and values how Sunderland will operate both on and off the pitch.

Overall, it is far too early to judge our new young owner, but I think the restructuring that has commenced so far, in addition to plans for the matchday experience and pitch quality, has certainly got him off to a fantastic start and I hope the improvements continue.


Did Max Power show signs of the player we originally signed against Fleetwood?

During yesterday’s 2-0 victory over Fleetwood, Max Power put in what for me was his best performance of this season.

The ex-Wigan midfielder was energetic with his pressing, he made forward runs to support the attackers, he led by example barking orders around the pitch, but most importantly he scored the winning goal with some clever movement followed by a smart header.

I felt during the match that it was the Max Power of old, a box-to-box midfielder who contributes at both ends of the pitch.

Previously I have been highly critical of his passiveness, his safety-first passing, his complete lack of contribution going forward, but under Lee Johnson, he seems to have regained that fire and desire.

He showed his positional flexibility in the past month, playing well at right-back, and since he has returned to the middle of the park he seems like he has a real point to prove that he is good enough to lead this Sunderland team.

I feel Johnson has almost removed the shackles from Power, previously under Phil Parkinson the midfielders remained very deep and barely contributed offensively, but now in a high pressing system and in a side that are scoring goals, the 27-year-old seems to have more freedom.

I think at the start of January, you probably would have had Power down as someone the club would not renew the contract of, seen as he's been a starting player in recent Sunderland teams that have failed to deliver promotion under Jack Ross and Parkinson.

However, if he shows the fight, desire, and quality that he did against Fleetwood, he is more than capable of proving he deserves to be Sunderland captain and that he is a key member of Johnson’s team.

Sunderland v Fleetwood Town - Sky Bet League One
Max Power’s goal yesterday brought him to four for the season, meaning he has equalled his best tally at the club from the 2018/19 season.
Photo by Mark Fletcher/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Following his excellent performances of late, should Sunderland be trying to sign Dion Sanderson permanently from Wolves?

The Daily Mail reported this morning that Lee Johnson’s side are exploring the possibility of buying Dion Sanderson from Premier League side Wolves in the summer.

The 21-year-old will just have one year left on his contract when his loan at Sunderland concludes, so it is likely that Wolves will either provide him with a new contract or sell him on to avoid losing him for a minuscule compensation fee.

Sanderson’s opportunities on Wearside have increased massively since Johnson’s appointment in December and he has become an integral part of the Black Cat’s defence, due to injuries to Bailey Wright, Jordan Willis, and Tom Flanagan.

Yesterday Sanderson played as the anchor of a three-man defence, once again impressing through his composure, aerial duels, and his ability to step in and distribute the ball.

He is exactly the kind of player Sunderland should be looking to sign, he is young, flexible positionally, excellent on the ball, and possesses experience of playing at a higher level with Cardiff in the Championship.

However, whether Wolves will want to part ways with him is another matter, Sanderson would be naive to turn down first-team Premier League football should Nuno seek to provide it, but I would argue starting every week for Sunderland would be better than playing the odd cup match as cover for his parent club.

I say this every week, but it really does baffle me that his playing time was so restricted in the first ten matches, he is a class above League One level.