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Sunderland Unveil New Signings Jobe Bellingham and Jenson Seelt

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After a promising opening to the transfer window, where do Sunderland still need to strengthen?

With just over a month until the new season, Sunderland have made four new signings and have also tied Dennis Cirkin and Trai Hume down to new contracts. Finlay Anderson looks at what more needs to be done this summer

Photo by Martin Swinney/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

What an opening to the transfer window it’s been for Sunderland.

Four new signings have already been brought to the club, and two members of the first team squad, as well as three of the under 21s, have signed new contracts, so we’re in a very good position heading into the start of our pre-season schedule next Saturday.

Sunderland Unveil New Signing Nectarious Triantis... Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Nectarios Triantis, Jenson Seelt, Jobe Bellingham and Luis ‘Hemir’ Semedo have all added strength and depth to our ranks, while Dennis Cirkin and Trai Hume committing their immediate futures to the club is a sign of how well we’re being run at this moment in time.

Of course there’s still room for more business to be done before the window shuts on September 1st, and there are naturally going to be some departures, but where exactly do we still need new bodies?

More firepower needed upfront

There remains a huge dilemma surrounding the future of Ross Stewart, and whether or not he’ll stay on Wearside.

After an impressive first season in the Championship and despite suffering two major injuries, Stewart’s stock is high and if the rumours are true, Premier League teams are sniffing around the Scotsman.

His importance on the pitch for us, however, is simply a non-negotiable. Give him an injury-free campaign and there’s no doubt that he’ll be up there with the top scorers in the division.

Yet even with Stewart staying for another year and the arrival of Semedo, there’s a big argument to say that we still need another striker, especially if the club don’t want a repeat of our troubles from last season.

The Ellis Simms debate continues to rumble, with many Championship clubs interested, whilst Sonny Perkins, a nineteen-year-old striker from Leeds, was an name that cropped up in recent days, and Sunderland feels like the perfect place to further advance his development.

Cardiff City v Leeds United: Emirates FA Cup Third Round Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images

Greater depth in central midfield

Within hours of the window opening, the club announced that they’d reached an agreement with Birmingham City for Jobe Bellingham, but you’d also expect that we’re potentially looking at adding another option in the centre of the park.

At the moment, Tony Mowbray does have some options for central midfield. Jay Matete has returned from a brilliant loan spell at Plymouth and will no doubt want to stamp his own mark on the side this season.

The severity and frequency of Corry Evans’ anterior cruciate ligament injury means that he’s likely to miss parts of this upcoming campaign and if any other injuries occur, we’d be looking slightly threadbare.

So, what midfield options are available?

Bradley Dack remains someone who Mowbray is interested in, having managed him at Blackburn, and he’s currently a free agent after being released by Jon Dahl Tomasson’s side at the end of last season.

Dutchman Thom Haye is another interesting name, and the twenty eight-year-old SC Heerenveen defensive midfielder would give us some experience in the middle of the pitch.

He’s reportedly set to leave the Eredivisie club this summer and he could be someone to keep an eye on.

sc Heerenveen v FC Twente - Dutch Eredivisie Photo by Pieter van der Woude/BSR Agency/Getty Images

Reinforcements on the wings

A big talking point of this transfer window is whether Amad Diallo will return to Sunderland, but it seems that we’re no further forward in knowing where he’ll be come September 1st.

Either way, we may need to search the market for a new winger/attacking midfielder.

Rumours and discussions surrounding Jack Clarke’s future only seem to be getting louder, with Burnley appearing to be the leading candidate for his signature.

Preston North End v Sunderland: Sky Bet Championship Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

It’s been reported that we’d want in excess of £15 million for the winger, with Burnley currently offering £12 million. However, if the Clarets do decide to offer something close to our asking price, you’d imagine that our heads will be turned.

If Clarke does eventually leave the club, a new winger may be on our shopping list.

Amad is certainly the best option available, but the club knows that for the Ivorian to come back to Wearside, it may take something special.

Sunderland v Luton Town: Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Semi-Final First Leg Photo by Alex Dodd - CameraSport via Getty Images

If he was to return, it could prove to be the signing of the summer, and to have a player of that quality for another season in the second tier may be decisive in a potential playoff hunt.

However, Leeds and Feyenoord are also interested, as well as a raft of Premier League clubs, but judging from what’s been published on social media and Fabrizio Romano’s reports, it’s clear that Diallo wants to come back.

For any young player, it seems that Sunderland is an attractive option for those who want to further their careers and develop as footballers.


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