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Fan Letters: ‘Should we be trying to get Simms permanently?’ asks RR reader Ian

Plus, is the under-21s the best place for Jewi, and are supporters ready for us to sell players?

Photo by Richard Sellers/PA Images via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Loving the good times at the minute and this young, exciting team. I’ve seen a lot of talk of how amazing our model is at the minute, and I agree.

However, I don’t think we’ve seen and experienced the full model yet. I think the model will inevitably end up with us selling some of the best players we have. And we’ve seen with some of the speculation about Stewart recently that fans aren’t going to be happy with us.

Now I trust this club hierarchy to get a good price and I trust them to reinvest it properly and effectively. However, I’m worried that a lot of our fanbase aren’t prepared for this and they’ll be a lot of negativity when it does happen.

If we really are going to buy into this model as a fanbase, that is going to be our biggest test.

Andy Kitching

Ed’s Note [Martin]: Thanks for the email Andy, and yep the model does rely on selling players to some extent – however, it can’t be a ‘sell whoever, whenever’ approach, which I think is what some people have concerns about. We saw in the Donald era the approach of selling any player (particularly young players) if a club offered anything, and we’ve suffered for that. Selling players needs to be done as carefully, if not moreso, than buying players – we need to be able to sell at a good price if they don’t want to stay / if we can replace them easily / if it’s not going to be detrimental to our longer term goals. Just cashing in isn’t a model for improving the club on the field. Quite simply, we need to progress as a club, and part of that is keeping hold of our best players. We shouldn’t cash in because we can, but we should if it helps us speed up that progress. Some of those decisions will be obvious, others controversial, but when it happens - because it will – the people in charge of the football side of the club have earned enough credit for us to trust them with it.

Sunderland v Middlesbrough - Sky Bet Championship
Probably our most valuable player at present – but Stewart’s injury has quashed any talk of him moving today.
Photo by Mark Fletcher/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Should we be trying to get Simms permanently?

Dunno what the situation was prior to Ross’s injury, but I think this is a warning sign that we need to be better prepared. We know what Simms can do, and he will only get better.

Ian Hughes

Ed’s Note [Martin]: I think we’ll be trying to get him permanently. Everton will be busy today, and I suspect Simms will be pushed towards the exit door. He’d be an excellent signing, and hopefully we get the deal done. The thing that may stop it is he’ll be way down the list of priorities at Goodison today.

Sunderland v Blackburn Rovers - Sky Bet Championship
More of this to come?
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Mag at work today complaining we started first-team players v NUFC U21s. Sour grapes! However, I pointed out that Jewi never plays and needs games, and our new signing Pierre is a U21 player who has yet to start a senior game. And it got me wondering. Are we signing lads to push the first team but also bolster that squad?

I think Jewi would benefit from playing more games with the U21s until he is first team ready. I think he has talent, but I think he needs patience. The fact he played at the World Cup shouldn’t blinker things, he needs time and he needs to be given the correct opportunities so that he becomes the player we think he can become.

Also just like to say well done to the U21s for their win today as it shows that it doesn’t matter how much money you’ve got if you neglect your youngsters, and that is what I think is likely happening at Newcastle, where there is no clear pathway. Sunderland give their best young players chances and that is something to be proud of.

Hetton Mackem

Ed’s Note [Martin]: Jewi’s started one cup game and Ekwah has never started a first team game, so to describe them as first team players isn’t quite correct – but they’ve both been signed to play in our first team, so there is some truth in there. Regardless, they both need football – although I’m not sure the U21s is the best place for Bennette. I’d actually like him to get loaned out to a League One club, but not sure how that’d go down, as there’s a host of factors to consider in terms of him settling into the country and the club. At the end of the day, he’s 18, and plenty of time on his side.

Fulham v Sunderland: Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round
Jewi in action at Craven Cottage
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

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