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Roker Roundtable: How excited are you about Jewison Bennette, ahead of his arrival at Sunderland?

The highly-rated Costa Rica winger is apparently set to join the club this week as we continue to cast our transfer net even wider. What do our panel think about this transfer?

Photo by Wang Dongzhen/Xinhua via Getty Images

Gav says…

Of course I’m excited - every signing excites me! Well, unless it’s Callum McFadzean...

Weirdly, this feels like a seminal moment for the club, as it marks a return to signing players from overseas who nobody has heard of, which is something that just doesn’t happen when you are in the third tier.

Scouting from abroad is where we are going to find most value in the transfer market, and you have to trust that Stuart Harvey knows what he is doing. With that in mind, for Sunderland to get in early and sign this lad when he is appearing on the radars of some of the big hitters in Europe is encouraging.

I am not going to expect that we have signed the new Paolo Wanchope - not straight away, anyhow - but it is nice to see us placing faith in young, talented footballers that don’t necessarily hail from these shores.

Comparing him to any other player that we have signed in the past is pointless, because that has nothing to do with him or the club’s current regime. Should this deal work out successfully, we could help him to evolve into a top player whilst simultaneously earning the club a decent crust in the process.

Hopefully this is just the start of Sunderland’s worldwide recruitment drive, further emphasising the fact that this is the place to be if you are a young prospect who wants to develop quickly in an elite environment.

Costa Rica v New Zealand - 2022 FIFA World Cup Playoff Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

Paddy Hayes says…

This transfer saga seems to have trundled on for an eternity, but it seems that the young winger is finally on his way to Wearside.

Personally, I am treating this deal with a degree of hopeful trepidation.

Admittedly, my knowledge of Costa Rican football is limited to watching Bryan Oviedo and Keylor Navas, and despite the fact that our recruitment from the Americas has brought the likes of Jozy Altidore, Santiago Vergini, and Marcos Angeleri to Wearside in relatively recent years, they were unforgettable additions for all the wrong reasons.

Our recruitment model, led by Kristjaan Speakman, has been pretty flawless (bar one major mishap), and Bennette certainly fits the mold as a young prospect. Under Alex Neil, he could improve as a player in a similar fashion to Dennis Cirkin, Jack Clarke, and Lynden Gooch.

Sunderland is located a mere 5,500km north of Uruguay, but we may be seeing Juan Sartori’s links to Central and South America finally bearing fruit.

To a certain extent, I think all transfers are a gamble. However, as the past few windows can be viewed as successful, I have been given reason to be optimistic that we may get this one right, and that we may well have a Central American star on our hands.

Costa Rica v New Zealand - 2022 FIFA World Cup Playoff Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

Sam Quigley says…

It is definitely exciting!

A random Central American wonderkid with barely any stats or highlights to his name is exactly the type of signing that I would make on ‘Football Manager’.

It is refreshing that we are no longer dredging through the pits of League One journeymen, most of whom added no value to the squad, whilst also not being able to secure a place in a team pushing for promotion.

The capture of Bennette is also a sign that Juan Sartori is flexing his Central and South American muscles and is fulfilling his promise to bring in rising stars from that part of the world, but the signing also comes with some concerns.

Could the language barrier be problematic? Could the fact that he is moving so far away from home affect him? Also, given the fact that we are well-stocked for wingers at the moment, where does he fit into the first team?

Hopefully, he will arrive at the Academy of Light, where he will get a few reserve games under his belt before he can start pushing for a first team place.

It is an encouraging sign that both our scouting team and Kristjaan Speakman are targeting players who can add genuine value and potential to our squad.

Canada v Costa Rica -World Cup Qualifier Photo by Dale Macmillan/Soccrates/Getty Images


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