As the dust settles on what is without doubt Sunderland’s most successful transfer window in recent years, it is the last two players to come through the door that could well be a high statement of intent from our football club.
Rumours about Thorben Hoffman and Leon Dajaku coming to Wearside started the day before deadline day, and with still hours left of the window, they were both in England sorting out deals. It was nice to see both players signed on the dotted line before going to bed.
Now, a year might not seem like too long, but looking at these two signings compared to who we signed late in the summer window of 2020 goes to show how far we’ve come.
Danny Graham, a man who is now retired, rejoined Sunderland last summer. Graham had already failed once at the SoL, he then came back and failed again. He may have gone down as the most underwhelming summer signing since we dropped into League One, and one that made almost no sense.
Twelve months down the line and our attitude and approach to transfers has been near revolutionised in comparison.
It was no secret that we were in need of a keeper with a bit more about him. Anthony Patterson has lots of potential but little first-team experience, and I don’t see Lee Burge being a number one for a promotion-winning side. It was a position that needed strengthening and the new regime has gone out and brought in a player who has been around some of the best in the game at one of Europe’s great clubs.
Our attacking options were looking decent before Dajaku signed on the dotted line, but now they are looking very good. Three senior strikers, a host of creative midfielders and wide options on both sides makes for a level of depth that should be enough to mount a promotion charge.
How many Bayern Munich players join clubs in the third tier of English football? We’ve gone and got two of them in one go. The international break seems to have come at a good time, giving our two new Germans time to settle in with their new team mates.
Let’s be honest, the visit from Accrington Stanley, our first league match after the break, will be the most highly anticipated game this season. Hopefully, the SoL will be packed to get behind the new boys.
The jury will be out until we get a look at Hoffman and Dajaku play, but the mere fact our recruitment team have been able to bring these players into our club goes to show that for the first time in a long time we seem to have people running the club who actually know what they’re doing.
It’s exciting times at Sunderland, but the success of this squad will only be confirmed if we finish the season with a promotion in May.