Date: 16th December 2020 at 6:00pm
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The Sunderland Echo’s Phil Smith appeared on the latest edition of the Wise Men Say podcast and the journalist spent some time discussing new Black Cats boss Lee Johnson’s plans for the January transfer window during the show. 

Johnson took charge of Sunderland earlier this month, just a day after the North East club’s new sporting director, Kristjaan Speakman, was appointed. 

Though the 39-year-old former Bristol City boss has not been at The Stadium of Light for that long, it would seem as though he and Speakman have some targets in mind for when the transfer window re-opens, with Smith revealing that Johnson wants a new attacker brought to the club next month. 

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An easy one to kick off our quiz on the 2020 summer transfer window in the EFL, which player left Birmingham City to join Borussia Dortmund?

Here is what the journalist had to say about Johnson’s January transfer plans in full: “I’m pretty sure he will strengthen in January. I think it’s pretty clear from what he’s saying that, as impressed as he’s been by [Jack] Diamond, he’s going to look to try and bring someone in to play in those forward areas with a bit of pace. 

“I wouldn’t be surprised if he looks to go into the loan market for that, he’s kind of hinted in that direction once or twice, he’s talked about the connections he has with the kind of bigger clubs and what have you.”

Should a wide attacker be Sunderland's January transfer priority?

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TIF Thoughts on what Smith had to say about Johnson’s January transfer plans…

Johnson has declared that he wants to make ‘one or two’ signings when the transfer window re-opens and it seems like the manager’s priority may be a wide attacker, with Smith explaining that Sunderland will look to recruit in this area, despite Johnson being impressed by Jack Diamond, who has mainly played at right-wing and right-midfield this term.  

Johnson was set to be meeting with Speakman and ‘other key figures’ at the North East club this week to figure out a plan of action for January and so, perhaps they will decide – or have decided – on the exact list of personnel they are going to target next month. 

With Smith speculating that Johnson may dip into the loan market due to his “connections” at “bigger clubs”, it will be interesting to see if the Black Cats can secure a major boost to their attacking options in next month’s transfer window. If they can, then maybe that bit of recruitment could lend them a lot of help in their pursuit of promotion this season.