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Sunderland Unveil New Signing Eliezer Mayenda

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Fan Letters: “Returning players will give Sunderland a boost!”

Thoughts on the strength of Sunderland’s squad, the environment at the Stadium of Light, and the fallout from Jordan Henderson’s Saudi switch are in the RR mailbox today. Got something to say? Email us: RokerReport@yahoo.co.uk

Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

I’ve just read the recent letter regarding recruitment, and the concern about our lack of central attackers and a replacement for or the rehiring of Amad.

Regarding the ‘lack of experience’, Ross Stewart was playing for a mid-table Scottish club prior to arriving in League One. We were then plunged into a crisis because Charlie Wyke left, but Stewart stepped up.

Fabio Borini was very impressive in his first spell at Sunderland.

He still thought he had a future at Liverpool, but the second spell was nowhere near as exciting, because he ultimately didn’t. This may be a warning against beating ourselves up about Amad.

We almost attained Premier League status last season without a recognised centre forward,

We got as close as Middlesbrough, who had a full and more expensive squad to call upon, so on the basis we’d gained promotion, would we be questioning whether we were confident about Stewart performing in the top flight?

On the other hand, would we still be unhappy with a squad which has been improved and will have Elliot Embleton, Aji Alese, Niall Huggins, Corry Evans and Stewart to call upon, if not immediately, then very shortly into the season?

Keep the faith.

John Collings

Ed’s Note [Phil]: Hi, John. Thanks for your letter.

The point you make regarding the depth and strength of our squad is a very valid one, particularly in light of last season’s top six finish, which many fans viewed as an ‘overachievement’.

At the time of writing, we’ve brought six new players to the club (two of them in recent days), all of whom have the potential to make significant contributions this coming season.

Bradley Dack adds the kind of experience and know-how that everyone has been looking for, whereas Eliezer Mayenda is another young and talented prospect, so there’s an interesting contrast there.

We aren’t a million miles away from having a squad that’s capable of mounting a sustained challenge, and by the time our absent players return, we should be in even better shape, because we’ve lost some real quality to injury in recent times.

Gateshead v Sunderland Pre-Season Friendly Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Regarding George Brown’s complaint about foul language being heard close to his seat, if he speaks to a steward or a chief steward, the person using such language can be ejected under the ground rules of the club.

It’s an offence to use foul and abusive language which causes distress to anyone in close proximity, but if the stewards aren’t aware of the distress he’s feeling, nothing will be done about it.

Hopefully this answers the question posed!

Malcolm Donnison

Ed’s Note [Phil]: Hi, Malcolm. Thanks for getting in touch and providing an answer to the question!

Preserving the Stadium of Light as a welcoming and inclusive environment for all supporters is crucial, especially given the problems we encountered at various times last season.

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

Dear Roker Report,

On Jordan Henderson’s move to Saudi Arabia, so many quotes of ‘not one of us would refuse the money’ are getting on my nerves. Do they assume that everybody else is wired up the same way as they are?

Would I take the money in my current position? Almost certainly.

Would I take the money with about £100 million already in the bank? No.

Why would I need to? To secure the future of my family? As if I couldn’t already do that many times over.

That doesn’t make me or anyone who thinks the same saintly- it’s actually just a matter of priorities and what’s most important to an individual.

I’d ask what would be best for me, my kids and family: another £50 million and massive upheaval, as well as the abuse and betrayal of everything I’ve ever stood for and preached, or a settled life, a job for around £100,000 per week and £100 million already in the bank?

Easy choice for me.

Terry

Ed’s Note [Phil]: Hi, Terry. Thanks for your letter.

After twelve years at Liverpool and seven of them as captain, it feels like a safe bet that Henderson was more than comfortable from a financial perspective. Through wages and endorsement deals, he’d surely have set himself and his family up for life some time ago.

That’s what makes the move to Saudi so baffling, along with the air of hypocrisy. He’s been a vocal supporter of equality and openness in football, but that sadly rings hollow now that he’ll be playing in a country where such values are simply not accepted.

Liverpool Pre-Season Training Camp Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

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