We’re two thirds of the way through June, but Sunderland have already made great strides ahead of the new season.
Three new signings have been confirmed, a surprise move for Jenson Seelt from PSV Eindhoven is all but completed but has yet to be rubber-stamped, despite being announced on Friday, and new contracts have been awarded to Dennis Cirkin and Trai Hume.
All of this illustrates that we’re a club who are getting things done nice and early.
Although it isn’t the first window during which we’ve done good business, this strategy of getting an early start in the summer is so refreshing, and the days of getting to the final day of a window with holes in our squad have hopefully been banished to the dustbin of history.
Sunderland’s transfer policy has been pretty clear in recent windows, with the last twelve months in particular showing the direction we want to go as a club, and during the early weeks of summer 2023, we’ve already made three breakthroughs.
First through the door was Australian defender Nectarios Triantis, who joined from Central Coast Mariners.
A young defender who arrived with plenty of high praise, his height feels like an attribute we can definitely do with this coming season, and he seems like a good addition- not least because of the number of defensive injuries we had last term, and stocking up in this department can’t be a bad thing.
The signing of Jobe Bellingham from Birmingham City seemed to take forever to be confirmed but when it finally was, it became clear just how long our recruitment team had been working on the deal.
We were told towards the end of last season that preparation for 2023/2024 was well underway, and the signing of Bellingham in particular is evidence of this.
A lot’s been said about Jobe, given the status of his brother Jude, but at the end of the day, the player we’ve signed is seventeen years old and he’s his own player.
However, it’s been a good summer for the Bellingham brothers, with one signing for a footballing colossus and the other putting pen to paper on a deal at Real Madrid!
Joking aside, the signing of Bellingham is one in which our scouting network has really impressed me.
They clearly know and see a top player in Jobe, and given the way we play nowadays, it’s hard to think of many better clubs for him to take his next step than Sunderland.
Elsewhere, we needed a striker- Lord knows we needed a striker- and our third new arrival this summer fits that bill.
The first frontman who’s joined on a permanent deal since Ross Stewart in January 2021, Luis Hemir Semedo Silva is tall, athletic, and he also looks pretty handy at finishing.
Having this kind of centre forward is something we missed for most of last season but if Stewart does stay- along with a third forward option who we’ll hopefully wrap up before August- Semedo should make a very handy addition to the squad.
For the last several windows, Sunderland have been getting their recruitment right.
We strengthened a squad that finished fifth in League One, ended up improving drastically, and ultimately achieved a top six finish in the Championship.