The Sunderland Echo’s Mark Donnelly appeared on the latest edition of The Roar Podcast to discuss all of the latest Sunderland news and during the show, he spent some time talking about Sunderland’s January transfer priority.
On that topic, the journalist declared that the Black Cats are set to prioritise signing a new left-back. This comes after Sunderland boss Lee Johnson recently confirmed that Denver Hume suffered a setback in his recovery from a hamstring injury, which is now set to rule him out for up to two months.
Johnson also confirmed that left-back is an area that he and the club’s technical director Kristjaan Speakman – who is set to play an integral role in recruitment along with Johnson, in the Black Cats’ recruitment moving forward – will now consider looking at.
Donnelly went so far as to say that as a result of Hume’s injury, the North East club will now prioritise signing a new left-back this month above other positions.
The journalist said: “I think there is a realisation Sunderland do need to strengthen – particularly at left-back now – I’m sure we’ll talk about Denver Hume’s injury, but that’s a real problem position now because you’ve got Callum McFadzean there; if anything were to happen to him – as we saw at the start of the month with the Northampton game – you’re having to play people out of position a little bit. So, I think that’s the area that will be the priority and from there on out, I think anything else would be a nice bonus.”
Do Sunderland need a new left-back this month?
TIF Thoughts on what Donnelly said about Sunderland’s transfer priority…
According to Transfermarkt, Sunderland have got two natural, recognised left-backs in their first-team squad, Hume and McFadzean, as Donnelly also explained.
However, you could argue that McFadzean doesn’t offer as much quality in the left-back position as Hume does.
Per WhoScored, Hume has earned the joint-fifth-highest average overall rating (6.98) of any Sunderland player in the league this season, while McFadzean’s average overall rating (6.36) is lower than as many as 17 other Black Cats players.
As a result, with Hume ruled out for up to two months, perhaps it would make sense for the North East club to target a signing in this position and with McFadzean set to depart from The Stadium of Light in the summer, perhaps this signing could represent an early upgrade at left-back to offer Hume some better competition, provided they get the recruitment right.