Separating Fact From Fiction

Well we’ve deliberately avoided trotting out loads of names of players linked with us so far this month, because it’s silly season and a lot of stories are made up between jounros and agents and 99% of them don’t come off, so it’s just a wind up for fans desperate to see new players arrive.

But finally, it looks like things are starting to happen on the transfer window front. Grant Leadbitter will arrive from Boro today and we have made and fifth and final bid for Will Grigg. Hopefully this bid is more appropriate, because if our first bid had been successful he could have made the difference between wining and drawing against both Luton and Scunthorpe. Three points in each of those two games would have seen us top of League 1 going into last Saturday’s fixtures, whereas we now lie fifth. Still, hindsight is wonderful.

We are also looking at taking Celtic’s Lewis Morgan on loan. Morgan was at St Mirren with Jack Ross and isn’t getting much game time at Parkhead, so this move would benefit both parties.

Sunderland would also love to move some high earners on. Bryan Oviedo and Lee Cattermole take up half our £11m wage bill between them, so offers for either would help our financial situation, with Oviedo the most likely to go. However, with Leadbitter’s arrival and with McGeough, Power, Honeyman and O’Nien all at the club the departure of Cattermole would not be a massive blow.

With this in mind, Jack Ross has hinted that Adam Matthews will replace Luke O’Nien at right back against Wimbledon and O’Nien will be used more as an advanced central midfielder. “Against Scunthorpe it was very hard for me not to play Adam Matthews,” Ross said. “I had to think long and hard about it, for two reasons. One, Adam is a really good player and his form over the last couple of months was really good, and he's a natural full back. But Luke's performances there have been really good and gave me more of a headache than I initially anticipated. You saw against City what Luke gives us [further forward], and I do think the spell at right-back has actually helped bring that out. The confidence that he gained from it, he feels at home at the club and on the pitch.”