Rowell Report: Quantity over quality signings at Sunderland?

Gary Rowell, former Sunderland player and now Echo columnist
Gary Rowell, former Sunderland player and now Echo columnist
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THE transfer window is shut now for a few months and the speculation and guesswork goes into cold storage for a while.

At least now everybody knows where they stand, bringing some sort of clarity to the clubs and thankfully the football can now be the main focus of attention.

Sunderland brought in two more signings on the last day – Fabio Borini and Andrea Dossena – to add to Ki Sung-Yeung, who signed a couple of days earlier – taking the final number of new recruits over the summer to 14.

The transfer window has certainly brought quantity to Wearside, but has it brought quality? The jury is out on that one at the moment.

We have brought in two on loan and it is only just a year ago that Borini signed for Liverpool in a £10.5m deal and Ki signed for Swansea for £6m, but a year later both players are being allowed to leave their clubs on loan.

On the face of it, it seems to be good business for Sunderland but questions have got to be asked as to why Liverpool and Swansea feel they have no need for them in their squads.

Certainly, they both have an incentive to do well at Sunderland in getting their careers back on track and to justify the valuations they had just over 12 months ago.

Loan signings, I feel, only work if the players involved are hungry to succeed and really want to be at the club.

Danny Welbeck, Jonny Evans and Danny Rose all flourished at Sunderland on loan because they bought into it and had the desire, determination and above all the hunger to better themselves.

And in doing so, Sunderland also benefited and the players themselves developed and are far better players for the experience.

Fourteen players brought in this summer seems to be an excessive amount but some will be mainly squad fillers and others bought with an eye on the future.

Of all the players Di Canio has signed so far, maybe Ki could be the most important simply because I haven’t been overly impressed with us in the middle of the park and Cabral seems to be out of favour and banished to the bench.

One midfield player we didn’t sign but many thought would be on his way out is Lee Cattermole and I hope he isn’t written off as I think he could still have a role to play.

He may split opinion but what he does give you is a physical aggression, presence and bite and that has been lacking in our first three league games up to now.

So the situation is clear now.

The new signings are in, and added to those from last season, the squad is defined.

We seem to have plenty of players now but we need to find a team.

Paolo has got to produce a starting 11 and a system that suits.

The first three games have come and gone and we can’t afford too many slip-ups.

With the window now shut, everybody must now be on the same wavelength and work together in getting this season moving in the right direction.