As Sunderland fans we usually feel underwhelmed with our transfer activity. The January window offers a chance at the half-way point to assess your squad, improve where you need to and cut loose of the deadwood.
Too often our recruitment has been poor but this season it might be different.
It’s time to look at the players we have signed and see where they will fit in to our squad.
Carl Winchester was the first to arrive in the window. The 27-year old arrived from Forest Green for an undisclosed fee. The fact we have paid a fee for a player should show a sign of intent to improving our squad.
He predominantly plays as a central midfielder and early viewings suggest he will be a steady passer and comfortable on the ball. Having played under Lee Johnson at Oldham - he’s sure to feature as he puts his own stamp on the team.
Central-midfield wasn’t initially a cause for concern but with George Dobson departing on loan, Max Power being shifted to full-back and Grant Leadbitter limited in his ability to play, Winchester will provide another option in a key area.
The left-back position has been one of the main areas for concern with injuries to Denver Hume and patchy form of Callum McFadzean.
Jake Vokins signs from Southampton as one to watch. The 20-year old left back comes from a club known for developing young talent and will surely see regular first-team football as a chance to improve himself and force himself into contention at St Mary’s.
Vokins has rarely featured for Southampton but is capped at international level for England u17s u 18s and also u19s. His arrival will provide welcome competition and will give him the opportunity to test himself.
Charlie Wyke has scored regularly, but a back-up striker was definitely needed with games coming thick and fast and injuries a possibility. Ross Stewart joins from Ross County in the Scottish Premier League having scored six times already this season.
His former Kilwinning Rangers manager Chris Stain believes he could be a ‘future Premier League player’ and believes his athleticism and pace when running in behind are his main strengths. The speed and directness up front has been a large feature of Lee Johnson’s early style and Stewart could prove to be a big asset.
The final signing this window was Jordan Jones who joined from Rangers on loan until the end of the season. The direct pacy winger had fallen out of favour at Ibrox, partly down to a breach of Covid-19 regulations but has undoubted potential.
Born in Teesside, he has 11 full Northern Ireland caps and was rumoured to be attracting interest from Championship clubs in January. His arrival at the Stadium of Light will give us speed and trickery in wide areas and give him the chance to get his career back on track.