Six players in (including Max Power), four players out and a brilliant chant to look forward to singing. A busy January for Sunderland, lots of hard work put in by the staff, hopefully the players can reciprocate it on the pitch.
Starting off with Jimmy Dunne, he seems to be a good signing, shows potential to offer some more physicality than Baldwin and Flanagan, which is the only thing missing from the Sunderland back line. He arrives on loan from Burnley until the end of the season. The 21-year-old has played in two league games for SAFC, and in both has looked solid. Looking forward to see what he can offer as we get further down the line.
Grant Leadbitter was the next Sunderland acquisition, arriving for free from Middlesbrough to come back to his boyhood club. He has taken a significant pay cut to come here, showing he wants to be at the club and that he is coming for all the right reasons. The deal has a certain romance to it, he’s back home, hopefully finishing his career here, he knows the area and he knows how to impress the fans. Some arguing that we don’t need any more midfielders but as we’ve seen from when Honeyman was injured, we looked thin without him and we missed him extremely, so it makes sense to add another midfielder.
Deadline day signing Lewis Morgan, arrived from Celtic on loan until the end of the season. Morgan was at St. Mirren under Jack Ross so he will know how Ross likes to play his football and it shouldn’t take him long to bed in in the North East. The 22-year-old winger impressed on his debut against AFC Wimbledon and is another exciting prospect to look out for.
Kazaiah Sterling was an out of the blue deadline day loan deal. The 20-year-old arrives from his parent club Spurs until the end of the season. He is a forward who was yet to have a professional appearance until he replaced Charlie Wyke in Sunderland’s 1-0 win over the Dons. Hard to judge what type of player he is at this stage, but he was very exciting, constantly buzzing around the Wimbledon back four.
Now, the man we’ve all been waiting for, Will Grigg. SAFC left it late when trying to sign Grigg but the deal was pushed over the line just before the deadline closed. The Northern Irish international has scored 52 goals in 126 appearances for Wigan, the majority of those in League One. He will no doubt be a fan favourite at the SOL if he can keep up his regular goal scoring form. He was welcomed by the fans before the Dons clash, and in his interview he seemed delighted to be at at SAFC, I’m sure everyone is excited to see what he can offer, starting with Oxford away next week. Many people argued that we paid too much by giving Wigan £3 million and rising but how much is promotion worth to everyone at SAFC? A lot is the answer, so if Grigg ends up getting a good few goals then it’s completely worth it.
In regard to the players who left the SOL this January, the standout one it obviously Josh Maja, not only a great player but by losing him you’ve lost goals, simple as that. However with Grigg coming in you’d like to think that he will take care of the situation. £3.5 million is not a bad fee at all, I’m sure not many League One clubs would demand a fee like that for a 20-year-old with six months left on his contract. Jerome Sinclair was recalled by Watford after failing to impress Jack Ross and has gone out on loan to Oxford, so will face us on Saturday!
Andy Nelson also left on a permanent deal to Dundee, I think we’re all sad to see a young prospect leave but was he really going to get in to the squad any time soon? No, so good for him to go somewhere where he’ll see first team football. Ethan Robson joined him at Dundee but on a loan deal, also good for him to get some regular football.
Overall, a turbulent transfer window for Sunderland but a successful one nonetheless. Some very exciting prospects and other, more proven players have been brought in and I’m sure the club is better off now and can push on in its bid for promotion.