Wise Men Say: Dick Advocaat’s new boys give Sunderland the defensive right stuff

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If the rumoured signing of Adnan Januzaj is completed, then Sunderland’s transfer business could be nearly done.

However, in my opinion the most important business of our summer was actually completed a fair while ago.

The purchase of centre halves Sebastian Coates and Younes Kaboul added much needed depth and experience.

The club now have four strong, battling centre backs who all possess Premier League experience.

While it is true that we still lack a striker that can chip in with more than the measly five goals that crowned Wickham our top scorer last season, this was rightly not our only aim at the opening of the window.

Danny Ings at Burnley and Charlie Austin at Queens Park Rangers were two of the most highly praised players of last season.

Their form has seen Ings secure an eyebrow raising move to Liverpool, while Austin is linked to a whole host of big sides (and Newcastle).

However, despite their impressive goal returns, both of their teams were relegated last season. Having a striker banging in the goals at one end is no use if you’re leaking them at the other.

In previous seasons, an injury to one of our first choice centre halves has resulted in untested players such as Valentin Roberge, Mobido Diakite or Santi Vergini having to step up.

Defending is a much more physical job than many foreign imports are used to, and this has shown in the sometimes disastrous performances turned in by these players.

Roberge and Diakite’s partnership at Cardiff a few seasons ago still sends shivers down my spine. Vergini, to be fair to him, was not bad.

He was capable of some great performances, but he also had some absolute shockers.

It was the home drubbing by Crystal Palace which convinced Dick Advocaat that Vergini did not possess the right stuff he was looking for.

In contrast, both Kaboul and Coates have a proven track record in the English top flight.

This solidity is clearly what Advocaat is looking for in his defenders, rather than the fancier ball-playing approach that previous signings aspired to, even if they fell short.

Sunderland now have all the pieces necessary to build a steady defensive base.

If we can cut out the collapses and use our experience to form a consistently tight defensive unit then we have great foundations to build upon.

Hopefully if Januzaj arrives to complement earlier signing Jeremain Lens, then we have at least some creativity and goals we lacked last season.

With the Leroy Fer transfer falling through, we probably also require another midfielder.

Do we still need a new striker to add to our current crop? Of course. However, signing one player to help fix a poor goal return is far easier than building a sturdy back four.

In adding defensive experience and nous to the side as early as possible, we have already completed our most important summer business.

NICK HOLDEN