Dear Roker Report,
I have just found out per the Athletic that James Sands from NYFC has just been loaned out with a permanent deal possible to Rangers. Daryl Dike has just signed with West Brom. These are two young and not even first-team USMNT players. Sands was first scouted by no other than our very own Claudio Reyna when he was 16 (he’s now 21).
We are still League 1, no doubt. However, we could easily have players like Dike and Sands in our orbit as soon as next year; the ground is fertile. Do you know of any scouting operations or relationships with ULS/MLS clubs?
Those leagues have discovered that they aren’t in direct competition with the better leagues; there is huge money in developing young, raw talent and selling to larger European clubs. Are we in this game? How can we find out where we have our tentacles?
Ed’s Note [Rich]: Hi Michael. I’m sure there’s a whole load of players out there in leagues around the world that Sunderland will have an eye on. The UK’s new “Points Based Immigration System”, designed to exclude as many foreigners as possible from the UK labour market, means that work permits are reasonably difficult to come by, although if a young player is capped at age group or full international level and plays in a high-enough ranked league (I’m not sure of the status of the MLS in this regard) - or they have UK or Irish citzenship (like Lynden Gooch) then we could be in the market, definitely. I’m not sure that the club will be giving away its scouting secrets to anyone, let alone us, any time soon though.
Dear Roker Report,
Money of course is vital for success in football, but it isn’t everything. Would SAFC fans really be happy if we were taken over by people using Saudi Arabian money, or would we not care where the money came from as long as we got it?
Ed’s Note [Rich]: Hi Mick. Most people probably would be fine with it as long as the money flowed into the club, I guess... but not me. I would shout and scream in protest, and not spend a penny on the club.