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Harrogate v Sunderland - Pre-Season Friendly

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Fan Letters: ‘We are still going for bargain-basement deals or loan signings’

RR readers are still frustrated at the lack of transfer activity, as Saturday’s season opener looms large. Email us with your views:

Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Is it me, or is everyone feeling the same?

I am talking in regard to the amount of loan signings we are gearing up with for the new season. The new owner has supposedly huge financial backing, yet we are still going for bargain-basement deals or loan signings.

Is this the vision of the future?

We have to be realistic here. The only way we are going to attract better quality players here permanently is to offer them what they cannot get elsewhere. I am not talking about going into meltdown as we have in the past, I am speaking about astute deals for players on the right side of their 20s.

Maybe it is me, but I just do not see what there is to get excited about when it comes to loan deals. All we are doing is managing to develop someone else’s talent, only for them to naff off back to their parent club or somewhere else when the deal is over.

Look no further than Sanderson. Why the hell didn’t the club dip into their pockets for the £2 million that was asked. He is a cracking player, and we were surely in pole position. This will happen again this season. Am I missing something here? If so, please tell me what it is, as all I can see is loan players leaving and having to be replaced once again, and in all probability, with other loan players.

Wow, some vision for the future.

Hughie O’Grady

Ed’s Note [Martin]: How many loan players do we have at present? One, isn’t it? I’m sure we’ll get a couple more, but I’d be more concerned if we weren’t using the loan market to our advantage.

When we were in the Premier League I felt exactly the same about loan signings, but in League One it’s a different game. We’re operating at different levels to the clubs that we are loaning from. We should only use the loan market when we can get in a player of the quality that we simply wouldn't be able to get permanently. He needs to be better than what we’ve got. And regardless of what the player does here, he could still be deemed not good enough for the Premier League, and a good loan spell can put us in pole position to sign them.

As far as Sanderson goes, if it was simply a question of paying £2m for him he’d be here. It was never a possibility – why would Wolves sell him? If we’d gone up we could have got him for another season on loan, no doubt.

If that had happened, we might have been in a position to get him permanently down the track, but as it goes he’s progressed quicker than we have.

Ultimately it comes down to this: at present, we need to do whatever it takes to get promoted. If that includes using loan players then so be it. I’d rather not have half of the team on loan, as we’ll struggle to build anything long term, but if a player like Doyle – who looks a cut above – becomes available for the season, surely we take him? If not, he’d be playing for a League One rival, and we’re left cutting our nose off to spite our face.

Harrogate v Sunderland - Pre-Season Friendly
Loanee Doyle has excelled in pre-season
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

I know it's a cliche, but I have supported Sunderland through all its triumphs and failures, for over 65 years. Every year I say I will stop reading the news prior to each season, but this time I have had enough.

We don't really have a defence to start the season and yet we pull out of a deal to sign a young Tony Gallacher from Liverpool at the last minute. Many managers over the years have proved building from the back is the best method of building a successful team.

We don't follow up on Jones, who at least tried harder than a few I could name last season.

You ask do we need a statement of intent for our young players, what about an honest statement to all our brilliant supporters.

We have heard nothing from KLD, Steve Davison or Kristjaan Speakman.

Yes, we need a statement telling everyone the truth of why we pulled out of the Gallacher deal, plus how many players, especially defenders, we are going to sign before we become cannon fodder once again.

David Cowey

Ed’s Note [Martin]: I would have liked to hear a bit more from KLD, Davison or Speakman, I agree David, but other than that we simply have to wait until the end of August to judge the success of this window. The Gallacher one – if you believe the journo Alan Nixon, who’s got a patchy record on SAFC – seems odd, however, there’s got to be reasons for it. I think you had it right in the first place – don’t read the news, let’s see how we go on the pitch!

Liverpool U23 v Brighton & Hove Albion U23: Premier League 2
So, what happened there, then?
Photo by Nick Taylor/Liverpool FC/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Can you start a vote going to see how many agree that the recruitment team and head of football have not done their job?

Tom Hughes

Ed’s Note [Martin]: Great idea Tom. We’ll pencil it in for May 2022 when we have any idea if they’ve done their job or not.


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