For a club the size of Sunderland, being in League One is nowhere near good enough. It was just five seasons ago they were in the Premier League and fans are desperate for them to be back in the top flight football again.
Getting the transfers right this summer is going to be key for manager Lee Johnson. They have already lost ten players, with some big names like Charlie Wyke and Max Power leaving the club.
Johnson said after the game against Harrogate at the weekend that the club are “working hard behind the scenes” to bring players in. Ideally, he would like six players this summer and is hopeful to get a couple of new faces in over the next seven to ten days. But any new players that could bolster the squad would be a huge bonus.
Defence is an area of the pitch that Johnson is keen to bring in reinforcements, but who could these players be?
George Edmundson (Rangers, Centre Back)
The 23 year old defender played just once for Rangers last season before securing a loan move to Derby. There he played just eight times and is keen to find some consistent game time elsewhere. He played for Oldham Athletic and made the League Two team of the year before joining Rangers.
Edmundson would be a good signing for Sunderland, who need centre backs and bringing in a young one could be a great bit of business. He is wanted by several clubs including Peterborough and Ipswich, so Johnson may have to act fast. It is thought that Rangers would want at least £1 million for Edmundson, who cost them £750,000 back in 2019.
Tony Gallacher (Liverpool, Left Back)
Gallacher, who is now 21, has struggled to make much of an impression to get into Liverpool’s star studded first team. He joined the club in 2018, signing for £200,000 from Falkirk. Gallacher was sent out on loan to Toronto and in between then has several appearances for Liverpool’s u23 side.
With Liverpool already having Robertson and Tsmiskas as left backs, playing time will be hard for Gallacher. After having a taste of first team football at Toronto, it would be difficult for Gallacher to go back into the under 23s. Sunderland are open to a loan move for him, but a permanent deal is still an option.
Jordan Gabriel (Nottingham Forrest, Right Back)
Gabriel spent much of last season on loan at Blackpool, where he played 29 times in League One. The Seasiders won promotion to the Championship and they are are keen on bringing him back to the club.
As it is though, he could cost around £300,000 to bring in to the club. Signing him would allow Luke O’Nien to move back into his preferred position in midfield as opposed to fill in at right back.
Josh Key (Exeter City, Midfielder)
Sunderland have been trying to bring in Josh Key for a while now. They have recently put in a fourth bid of £1 million to bring in the midfielder who played 43 times in League Two last season.
Key is a versatile player who can play across the midfield and even fill in at full back if needed. This would be good for Johnson and he has highlighted they need a number of players, but signing someone who can be deployed across several would take some of the pressure off.