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How might Sunderland improve their midfield in January?

With the transfer window under a month away, Sunderland may look to shore up the engine room with some additional quality. We asked our writers for their views

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Tom Albrighton says...

For the most part, our midfield seems pretty much set.

I would suggest that the centre of the pitch is the least of our worries heading into January, although we could easily jig a few things around.

The first step has to be managing the talent at our disposal.

With Edouard Michut due back in the near future and having been praised by Tony Mowbray, he may feature more often. As a result, someone will end up missing out and that would likely be one of Dan Neil or Elliot Embleton. Jay Matete is also a forgotten man at the moment, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him move on.

Regarding potential additions, the only one I’d be keen for us to make is drafting in a long-term replacement for Corry Evans.

It seems that when Evans doesn’t play, neither do Sunderland and expecting a player of his age to rack up a full season of Championship games is a big ask. In terms of potential replacements, I’d love to see Ethan Ampadu come in if we could somehow get him out of his loan at Spezia in Italy.

With an abundance of talent and a Kevin Ball-like edge to him, Ampadu would also add a bit more height to the middle of the park. Fitting the bill of a young player who was swallowed up by a big club and then restricted, he would fit our criteria to a tee.

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Ewan Bowman says...

I think we need one or two experienced additions in the middle of the pitch.

When Corry Evans is injured or off the pitch, experience is lacking in that area of the field. I think our first choice is a midfield three of Evans, Dan Neil and Alex Pritchard in the number ten role.

If there’s an opportunity to sign a player or two with Championship experience, it would certainly help the current group. In terms of possible departures, I feel that Jay Matete will be loaned out, and possibly Edouard Michut may head back to PSG.

In attacking areas we’ve got an embarrassment of riches, but a strong, ball-winning midfield player or two will only make us stronger.

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Michael Dunne says...

In terms of numbers, we’re fairly stacked around the middle of the park, and looking at experienced midfielders, I think this is where the actual crux of the issue lies.

Corry Evans has been quite impressive this season and is most definitely our most important player in this position. However, the main issue is that he isn’t getting any younger, meaning we may have to pick and choose the games in which he plays as the season goes on.

I would like someone similar to Evans be recruited in January to give us a little more depth. With Luke O’Nien likely to be kept in the defence, someone to replace him in midfield would be what we’re looking for.

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