Dick Advocaat hopes Will Buckley’s move to Leeds United will prompt more of Sunderland’s fringe players to consider their futures.
Buckley’s three-month loan switch to Elland Road is due to be rubber-stamped on Friday to enable him to make his Leeds bow against Birmingham this weekend after the Sunderland winger spent last week training with Uwe Rosler’s side.
As I’ve said before, I would want to play if I was in that position.
The 25-year-old’s departure represents the first of Sunderland’s success stories in attempting to shift those considered surplus to requirements by Advocaat after the Black Cats finally reached a financial agreement with Leeds, who had been tracking the ex-Brighton winger throughout the summer.
But while Buckley is earmarked to go on and complete a £1million permanent move to Leeds in January, Sunderland still have unwanted trio Liam Bridcutt, Charis Mavrias and Valentin Roberge on the books.
Sunderland are understood to have been in talks with an unnamed Greek club over a January switch for Mavrias, although the Greek international has been making an impact for the Black Cats Under-21s after helping them go top of the league with a 2-0 victory at Southampton on Monday night.
But Sunderland’s attempts to offload Bridcutt, in particular, have been hampered by the difficulties in reaching a financial agreement over the player’s wages with Championship suitors.
Bridcutt may risk becoming a forgotten figure at the Stadium of Light unless he takes a wage drop though, with the ex-Brighton midfielder not even featuring in Sunderland’s match-day squad since the opening day of the season.
Advocaat told the Echo: “Buckley has already gone.
“Hopefully some more will go out.
“As I’ve said before, I would want to play if I was in that position.”
Sunderland are also prepared to let striker Danny Graham leave the club, with the 30-year-old’s last appearance coming in August’s draw at Aston Villa.
Advocaat is happy to keep Graham as part of the first-team squad, but the ex-Swansea man’s chances will remain limited after the capture of fellow frontman Fabio Borini.
Sheffield Wednesday want Graham on loan and the Championship side are prepared to match his Sunderland wages.
But the decision has been left with Graham himself, with less than a year remaining on his contract at Sunderland.