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Sunderland v Crewe Alexandra - Carabao Cup First Round

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Roker Roundtable: Who should be Sunderland’s first choice #10?

With the likes of Jobe, Alex Pritchard and Bradley Dack vying for a place, we’ve got some exciting options, but who would our writers choose?

Photo by Michael Driver/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Joseph Tulip says...

I think it’s crazy that we’d look beyond Alex Pritchard.

There’s been speculation about his future and we do seem to be moving towards youthful options, with Chris Rigg and Jobe very much in the mix, but Pritchard is proven quality.

He once commanded a substantial transfer fee and has played in the Premier League. He’s also been outstanding for Sunderland over the past two seasons and has started impressively this time around.

Of course we’ve signed Bradley Dack but in my view, Pritchard was our number ten before we brought in Amad last season and now that he’s returned to his parent club, Pritchard should again be our first choice in that position.

It’s all about priorities. We could persevere with Jobe as a number ten and he may well thrive over a period of time, but in the short term, if it’s results we want, it has to be Pritchard.

Sunderland v Ipswich Town - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Michael Driver/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Kingsley Reavley says...

In my view, Alex Pritchard has been criminally underused for some time now.

I’m all for investment in youth but we need to blend that with seasoned pros who have the tactical nous to guide us through tough moments.

What Pritchard lacks in aerial presence, durability and stamina, he makes up for in leadership, composure and ingenuity, not to mention his often sublime set piece goals.

He needed to build up his fitness after joining the club but since then, he’s been a model professional, consistently delivering strong performances and stepping up when mattered, as shown by his ‘man of the match’ performance against Wycombe in the playoff final.

Jobe looks like an incredibly exciting prospect but he’s only seventeen years old with minimal Championship experience. Chris Rigg is in a similar boat, so we can’t expect too much of them at this stage.

I’m keen to see more of Bradley Dack but his lack of a pre-season means it’ll likely take him a while to get up to speed.

Simply put, we’re a better team with Pritchard on the pitch.

If we have to take him off after sixty minutes, so be it, because his contribution during that hour justifies his starting place.

Mark Wood says...

Looking through our squad, we do have a number of candidates who can play the position, such as Alex Pritchard, Jobe, Patrick Roberts and Bradley Dack.

You can even go for what would appear to be a complete curve ball in Lynden Gooch, but at least two previous Sunderland managers mentioned that he was more of a ‘nine and a half’- whatever that is!

However, you want someone who’s going to be able to do the job well and show some consistency over the course of a season.

Jobe is definitely one for the future and he needs to be nurtured. He’ll get a run in the team at some point, but he’s not the one I’d go with from the outset.

I can see the argument for Pritchard and he’s been great for us over the last two seasons, but I don’t see him getting near the goal return that Amad delivered last season. Also, his game time has to be managed to protect his fitness and he’s usually subbed by the seventieth minute of most games.

Therefore, my choice, when fully fit, is Dack.

Tony Mowbray knows him inside out and he’s a huge fan of the player. Dack has a proven record at this level and has presumably been brought in specifically to play this role.

Sunderland Unveil New Signing Bradley Dack Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images


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