clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile
Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Sunderland v West Ham United - Stadium of Light

Filed under:

On This Day (6th July 2016): Frustration reigns as Sunderland fail to recruit defenders

With the threat of Big Sam Allardyce leaving Sunderland looming, the club were failing in their bid to recruit defenders during the summer window.

Photo by Nick Potts/PA Images via Getty Images

Prior to Sam Allardyce’s departure from Sunderland for the England job in July 2016, concern among fans was growing due to the lack of progress the club was making on the recruitment front.

Sunderland was linked with many players but was making very little progress. Rumors of Big Sam’s impending departure for the England job were rapidly increasing, leaving the club’s recruitment process in limbo, with players hesitant to join a club without knowing the future of their manager.

On this day in 2016, the club was linked with a couple of defensive targets, but one of them appeared increasingly unlikely to join due to financial constraints.

West Ham defender James Tomkins was said to be the club’s main transfer target. Having worked with Big Sam before, the Sunderland manager was keen to work again with a player he could trust.

West Ham United v Sunderland - Premier League Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images

A clear disparity between the two clubs’ valuations of the player apparently became a key issue in the transfer discussions. According to a Northern Echo report, the clubs’ transfer values were miles apart, leading Crystal Palace to step in and pay £10,000,000 for the player.

The Black Cats made a number of inquiries about Tomkins at the start of the summer, with Sam Allardyce having worked with the 27-year-old during his time at West Ham.

However, they were quick to cool their interest once it became clear that West Ham were demanding an eight-figure fee for the centre-half

Sunderland are understood to have valued Tomkins at around half that price, and were unwilling to become drawn into a bidding war.

In another defensive target conundrum, Sunderland’s financial constraints were further highlighted by their inability to secure a deal for former Tottenham Hotspur loanee Deandre Yedlin.

Yedlin, who played a crucial role in the club’s survival in the Premier League, was no longer needed at Tottenham. However, the clubs couldn’t agree on a modest fee for the American.

Sunderland v Everton - Premier League Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Spurs were asking for £6,000,000 for the player, while Sunderland was only willing to pay £3,500,000 for his services.

Although discussions were reportedly at a “positive stage,” fans were concerned that the club couldn’t complete a deal that should have been relatively easy to finalize during the summer transfer window.

Issues like this were unlikely to sit well with Allardyce, whose stock was high after another remarkable escape under his leadership.

Just over three weeks later, Big Sam inevitably left Sunderland and took over the England job, while Deandre Yedlin returned to the North East, but joined our rivals, Newcastle United.

Moments like the ones mentioned above only foreshadowed what was to come under David Moyes and Ellis Short’s reign.


Match Report: Toothless Sunderland Lose 2-1 to 17th Place Swansea


On This Day (25th February 1961): Goodchild’s sweet goodbye against Leeds United


Matchday Musings: Swansea City spoil the party at Sunderland

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Roker Report Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Sunderland news from Roker Report