May 16, 2024

These actions might enable Sunderland to fulfil their ambition of playing in the Premier League.
Sunderland’s second attempt at getting back to the promised land of the Premier League has stuttered a bit.

The Black Cats are yet to truly find there rhythm, this season. They did go through a month-long stretch without losing right at the start of the new league campaign, but that was then followed up by four losses in six games.

These types of scenarios are to be expected from a team like they have. The average age of their squad is just 22-years-old, so they don’t necessarily have the maturity and knowhow to pull results from games where they’re not totally on form.

They currently sit just outside those top-six spots, but only one point behind sixth placed Cardiff City.

If Sunderland are wanting to have an ever better chance at winning promotion than they did last year, they’re going to need to have a brilliant January transfer window. Their top goalscorer, Jack Clarke, could be leaving the club in the new year. If it happens, that sale would certainly hurt the squad, but these moves would considerably improve it.

By the time that January comes, the Argentinian striker will be coming off the back of leading his team to the MLS playoffs. His Philadelphia Union side have a 3-1 lead against New England Revolution, heading into the second leg.

 

During the 2023 season, Carranza has scored 14 goals and registered five assists in 32 games. The 23-year-old is also one of the best in the league when it comes to shots per goal. On average, he finds the back of the net once in every six attempts he takes.

Even though Sunderland have brought in quite a few number nines over the past year, not one of them has scored a league goal in the 2023/24 campaign. Carranza’s age matches with their general recruitment profile, and he’s prolific.

The Portuguese striker may have been brought to the northeast in the summer, but he quickly fell out of favour. The Black Cats need to bring in another goalscoring option, even if their current most prolific scorer stays.

A short-term loan move for Semedo would get him playing more regular minutes, but it’d also create some room for another forward to come into the club.

When Sunderland played without the suspended Dan Neil, a few weeks a go, it was clear to see the difference in the squad when he wasn’t around. A team that is wanting to challenge for the top spots in the league can’t afford to have such a deficiency in the team if one player is missing.

Loiodice wouldn’t act as an exact replacement if Neil was out; the Black Cats’ number 24 provides more attacking returns than the Frenchman. But Loiodice would be able to play that single pivot role as well as anyone else in the team.

As per FBRef.com, the 22-year-old is in the top 20% of midfielders of Europe’s biggest leagues and competitions for tackles and aerial duels won. He’s also in the top 25% for progressive passes received.

With Sunderland likely to bring in fresh reinforcements in the new year, players like Taylor, who are already getting very limited minutes, will be pushed even further down the order.

He’s into his 20s now. For his personal development as a player he needs to be playing regular senior football. His loan spell with Hartlepool United, last season, was no success, so maybe a club lower down the football pyramid would be better suited for him; whether it be on loan or permanently.

The club need to prepare themselves for the possibility of Clarke leaving. The attention that he is attracting from Premier League clubs is going to be hard to hold off forever. But if they’re able to get the reported £15 million that they want for him then that’s a brilliant return.

The Black Cats do have talented wide players to call on, if the 22-year-old were to leave. But they’d still be able to reinvest that money in his position.

Hoskins is a left-winger who won the Sky Bet League Two Player of the Year award, for the 22/23 campaign. He scored 22 goals and seven assist for Northampton Town, and already has eight goals and one assist in his first season back in League One.

He’s one of the best in the league when it comes to carries with the ball that end in shots and goals, according to The Analyst. As well as being really effective when running with the ball, the 30-year-old also averages roughly one goal per seven shots he takes.

His age profile is a bit outside the usual strategy, but he’s still an exciting option who will likely be cheaper than other players that the club consider.

 

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