Damian Brown says…
From an objective perspective, the vast majority of the squad is replaceable, and Gooch is no exception.
It really just depends on what you consider to be the ‘core’ of the team. If it’s based on skillset and ability, there are likely dozens of solid replacements that will do just as good a job, or even better.
That being said, if you believe the core should be made up of players that understand the ethos of that particular club, few players are as integral as one of our longest-serving academy products. Not only did he come up with us, he’s played for Sunderland across all three leagues as we’ve fallen and rebuilt, and that should count for something in the dressing room and on the pitch.
When all is said and done, we need to deliver success on the field.
Gooch has shown that he has the ability to be a talented winger and a capable wing-back, but on the other side of the coin he can go entirely missing from games or simply be rendered inert by a good full-back.
Sometimes he dominates his position and others he struggles, but I’d say that’s part and parcel of most footballers. It wouldn’t shock any of us if he finds himself surplus to requirements if we solidify the right back role and someone like Trai Hume asserts himself as a more dynamic player.
If he wants to go to Swansea, I’d wish him the best of luck whilst feeling confident we can find a player of his calibre fairly easily. That doesn’t mean I’d like to see the back of him - it all depends on where he sees himself in the grand scheme of things. I think he should do what’s best for his career and his family and only he can make that decision.
Tom Albrighton says…
Personally, I wouldn’t be bothered either way if Gooch was to stay or go, and to be perfectly honest, the club shouldn’t be dragged into protracted sagas whereby we end up paying over the odds to retain his services.
Whilst a loyal servant to the club and an adopted Mackem, Gooch has often struggled to find a role within the side.
Despite his usefulness as a utility man, in the higher quality divisions of English football you primarily need specialists in their chosen positions. Having ended last season by finding his feet at right wing back, it could be argued that keeping Gooch would be good business, and whilst in my opinion it wouldn’t represent outwardly bad business, he can’t be allowed to take home a hefty wage as a result.
Given the fact that Swansea are reportedly interested in his services, Gooch has a stronger negotiating position than previously. Therefore, if the club are to keep him, it must be in line with the wage structure, and if that offer is then not good enough, Swansea (or anyone else) are welcome to him.
As Sunderland aims to progress, we must be ruthless at times, and potential contract sagas like this will be a new test for our owners this summer.
Kevin Campbell says…
I would most certainly and unequivocally NOT be happy to let Lynden Gooch leave.
I would, however, be satisfied if an adequate replacement can be found- in fact, I’m certain one will be, but Gooch has proven himself to be a more than serviceable squad player, even as we make the jump to a higher division.
The fact that Swansea are interested shows that I’m not alone in that valuation of Gooch.
He can play in multiple positions; he loves the club, and he’s grown into a leader in the dressing room. I know some will say it’s due to his contract coming up, but he played his best stuff down the home stretch of the season when everything was on the line and we needed players to stand up and be counted.
I hope the club is doing all it can to retain Gooch and his services.