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Reader’s Corner: How many new signings do Sunderland actually need?

RR reader Paul Wood would like to see Sunderland properly ‘give the kids a chance’ - and would be content with Lee Johnson and Kristjaan Speakman only making a handful of new signings. What do you reckon - would that be too big a risk? Fancy writing? - send us an email!

Sunderland have been linked with the signing of Eric Lichaj, the former Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest full back
| Photo by Neville Williams/Aston Villa FC via Getty Images

I - and judging by the messages and posts many other Sunderland fans - would like to see new signings, however, how many do we actually need?

The club has a conundrum to a degree, we want youth to be given an opportunity, many questioned the rationale of loaning out Elliot Embleton to Blackpool. So whilst we want new faces, would we essentially not get that with more game time given to the likes of Embleton, Josh Hawkes, Dan Neil and Benji Kimpioka?

For me I’d like a new goalkeeper... however, Lee Burge kept over twenty clean sheets last season, and signing another keeper essentially pushes Anthony Patterson out on loan or down the pecking order. So do we really need a keeper?

Full backs on both sides of the park definitely need numbers, regardless of what happens with Denver Hume.

At centre half, I would love to get Dion Sanderson back one way or another, however, that’s the downside to the loan system... he showed he was at least a Championship player, and will not be short of offers from prospective buyers or loan clubs.

Wigan Athletic v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One Photo by Lewis Storey/Getty Images

Midfield… we are not short in this department. We’ve got Aiden Mcgeady, Elliot Embleton and hopefully the versatile Luke O’Nien, Carl Winchester, Dan Neil, Lynden Gooch, Josh Hawkes and Jack Diamond.

Up front, Charlie Wyke’s replacement is already in the building in Ross Stewart. I think he’s had time to settle, and with a decent pre-season, who knows what he can do with a sustained run in the side?

We also have Aiden O’Brien, and like it or not, we still have Will Grigg.

And then there’s Benji.

So, let’s bring in another striker, hopefully with a bit of pace, with Will Grigg moving on; at least two new full backs. Get Arbenit Xhemalji fit and he complements Bailey Wright and a new signing, whilst Tom Flanagan and Oliver Younger as back up sorts the defence.

Our midfield will include Aiden McGeady, Carl Winchester, (again, hopefully) Luke O’Nien, and we either have to give Elliot Embleton a role or allow him to move on.

That leaves quite a few others on the bench, and adding to midfield surely pushes some of the younger players down the pecking order or again on loan.

When you look at the squad it’s not all doom and gloom. If O’Nien and Hume stay, I’d only want three players, and then let some of the younger kids show they can cut it.

Paul Wood

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