The January transfer window is one big saga.
Almost every club goes into the window thinking they need to buy a certain something/or someone but very often very little is ever completed.
The window is inflated, most teams aren’t willing to sell their best players and most will not pay over the odds for a player who will be relatively cheaper in a few months.
Under Phil Parkinson, the January window of 2020 was very similar. Parkinson was new to the Sunderland role and was keen to put his own stamp on things after a very poor run of results.
However, the lack of value and the fact that our owner Stewart Donald wanted to sell the club were not helping his case.
Parkinson insisted that Donald remained committed to helping the club throughout the window.
The chairman’s said that although he’s willing to sell, he’s still 100% committed to helping us. He wants to do everything he can to improve the squad in this window. He and the fans have had their say; now we need everyone to pull together.
On this day in January 2020, reports in local and national media began to circulate that the club was close to signing a new player. Reports suggested that Australian defender Bailey Wright was close to signing from Bristol City on an initial loan.
Labelled as Parkinson’s ‘main defensive target’, the Northern Echo reported that the Bristol City defender was extremely close to following striker Kyle Lafferty in signing for the club.
Sunderland are set to complete the signing of Bristol City defender Bailey Wright within the next 24 hours.
Wright has travelled to Wearside to complete a medical and finalise the personal terms of his switch from Ashton Gate.
The Australian centre-half was due to become a free agent in the summer, and Sunderland have agreed a minimal fee that will see him make a permanent switch to the Stadium of Light.
Luton Town also attempted to sign Wright last week, but Sunderland have won the battle for his signature.
The signing of Wright would have been perceived as a good bit of business considering the defender was captain of a team a division higher up than ourselves and that he had been promoted from League One before.
Furthermore, Wright brought international experience to the table where he had represented Australia 24 times by this time.
The following morning, Sunderland AFC confirmed the signing of Wright on their website with Parkinson expressing his delight in getting his man.
We are delighted to welcome Bailey to the club. He is an experienced player and he has captained Bristol City. We are looking forward to working with him.
He adds competition at the back, which is something I felt we needed, and he is an excellent character. He will be a valuable addition to the group.
In fairness to the rightly much maligned Parkinson, Wright was a great signing for us at this time when the club badly needed some leadership on the pitch. Lacking real winners who could lead by example, Wright brought this in abundance.
His start to his Sunderland career was very positive where his performance in beating Ipswich Town in a crucial 1-0 victory was an early highlight of his time at the club.
Despite the early part of his Sunderland career being hampered by the Covid-19 lockdown, the Australian signed for the club permanently in the summer where his performances assisted greatly in the club being promoted in the 2021-22 season from League One.
Wright then played for the club in their first season back in the Championship making 14 appearances before leaving for Rotherham United on loan.
Upon the expiration of his contract at Sunderland, an emotional Wright departed the club with the best wishes from many fans who certainly appreciated his contribution in rehabilitating the club.