Should LJ start Trai Hume on Saturday?
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Martin Wanless says... “Get him straight in!”
For any new signing, getting settled into a new club as soon as possible is imperative – and what better way for new signing Trai Hume to settle in than to be thrown into the first team immediately? The lad has been playing regular football in Ireland this season, so is undoubtedly fit enough, and by all accounts in fine form. He will be riding the crest of a wave at the moment after watching the Sheff Wed game, signing for the club and having a few training sessions with the lads – and by giving him his debut on Saturday, Lee Johnson could capitalise on this and fast track his development significantly.
On a footballing level, too, his selection on Saturday makes a lot of sense, too. We’ve been playing with Dajaku as a wing back of sorts, with Bailey Wright pretty much playing as an orthodox right back when we have the ball, and a third centre half when we’ve not got the ball.
Dajaku has been impressive in recent weeks going forward, but suspect defensively – and this is something Wycombe will be planning to exploit. By playing Hume in Dajaku’s role, we will give ourselves more defensive stability when Wycombe are attacking. This is going to be a tough, tough game, and one I’m not sure Dajaku is cut out for from the off – Hume could well add some defensive strength. In addition, that keeps Dajaku on the bench for an impact sub role – which could be incredibly valuable in what I expect to be a tough, tight game.
In addition, by naming Hume in the starting XI, Johnson will throw a complete curveball at Wycombe – he’ll spring an unknown element into the game which could make all of the difference come full time.
While Hume is most definitely a long term signing, he could make a significant impact on Saturday – and I’d love to see him start the game.
Phil West says... “No - it’s too soon!”
I wouldn’t throw him into the starting eleven on Saturday, personally. I would certainly have him on the bench and be ready to bring him on with 20 minutes left on the clock.
In an ideal situation, Trai Hume’s first game will be against a team in the lower half of the table at home, in a match that you would have as a banker for a Sunderland victory.
That way, he could ease himself in and have the backing of a Stadium of Light crowd to give him a big boost.
Saturday on the other hand is likely to be tough, niggly and physical, and it’s important that he gets fully up to speed before starting games.
It’s a new environment for him, and although I’m sure he’d be absolutely desperate to make a great first impression, I think we ought to stick with the tried and tested starting 11 and see what impact Hume can have as a substitute.
He’s bound to play a major role for us, and I think Lee Johnson is savvy enough to know how to make the best use of him during his first few weeks at Sunderland.
Defensively, we have looked a lot more solid in recent weeks, and although Hume’s addition certainly gives us some welcome depth, I don’t think it is a situation where we are so desperate for bodies that we throw him straight in.
Let him build himself up and then he can make an even stronger case for being a starter in a couple of weeks’ time!