LJ EXPLAINS TRANSFER STRATEGY



Lee Johnson has been explaining his transfer strategy. Its seems that he’s set to bring in Carl Winchester, followed by some younger talent on loan from Premier League clubs.


"You have to remember that even when you move players out, it doesn't necessarily free up salary cap headroom," said Johnson. "The rules are quite complex and we have had to get a lot of clarification around it, because certain scenarios that we have tried to create in our mind's eye have not been possible. We just have to be patient with that, but if we can get one [signing] through the door today or tomorrow, we have also got another couple of irons in the fire in terms of under-21 talent from the Premier League, which are options for us. "We've been left with no recruitment department, no historic lists, nothing has been left behind, so we are doing everything from scratch, obviously utilising our knowledge from our previous clubs and contacts. Infrastructure-wise, there's a lot to do here. What I would say is that the team is good, that's the strong part - the top of the pyramid is good, and credit where it is due there - but infrastructure-wise, to get to where we want to go and for it to be sustainable, there is a lot we have still to do and everybody knows that. We all get caught up game-to-game, moment-to-moment, but I see this as a long-term project. Obviously, I want to be successful in the short-term but I'd also like to be here for a very long time. If I'm the Arsene Wenger of Sunderland, I'll be more than happy!"


"In terms of forward players, all across the front three, we've got a load of names," he said. "The variables, though, are constantly changing - the salary cap comes into it, a player goes out and frees up certain money, or an under 21 player becomes available, your number one pick of the draft isn't available. We're always trying to improve the squad, everyone knows that, but that doesn't always mean it is possible because we already have good players. It might be that you go all the way to the last day of the window and someone becomes available at a price we can afford. But they have to be affordable, accessible, available and match fit - I won't sign anybody who isn't all of those things, because in the short-term there are so many important games. What I don't want to do is over-fill the squad with numbers. If you look back at Sunderland squads over a period of time, you can see how over-populated they were and all that does is devalue the shirt in one sense, because you are just bringing a player in rather than working to improve one you have already got. You need to work with players and build that bond and team spirit. My experience has always been that in a tight-knit group normally everyone knows where they sit in the hierarchy or structure of the squad, and if that changes it is either through injury or excellent form, and that is what creates the competitive environment that we are after."


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