Wise Men Say: We need a striker in at the very least by tomorrow’s deadline

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I wrote in my last column that it might be wise to move some saleable assets on, roll the dice and gamble on bringing some fresh faces in.

At the time of writing, it looks increasingly likely that Patrick van Aanholt will complete a move to Crystal Palace for around £14million.

I’m going to be a complete hypocrite now; as I’ve often said as a fan, I don’t go to games to talk about ‘good business’.

I’m more interested in the goings on from a football perspective.

It could be argued that van Aanholt is an important player and we shouldn’t be selling him to a relegation rival.

However, he’s made many a mistake in his time and I don’t think, on balance, the goals scored negate those errors. £14m for a player that cost the club £1.5m is just too good of an offer to ignore.

Martin Bain might also see it as a small victory, given it reflects the message he put out only a few months ago.

We need to start turning a profit on players, with Sunderland doing so just three times in the last seven years.

This is what we should be doing more often, going forward.

The flip side though, on this occasion, is that we probably won’t bring in quality to replace van Aanholt.

There is only today and tomorrow left in the January transfer window and, up to now, we’ve done little to bolster an injury-ravaged squad.

David Moyes said it was unlikely we’d bring anyone in who would improve the team. Will that change now the wage bill is a touch lighter?

We’ve still just one first-team striker in the squad and that must be addressed. If the window closes and then Jermain Defoe gets injured, we’ll be staring down an increasingly shortening barrel.

Spurs visit us tomorrow night. In my opinion, they’re the best team in the league when they’re in full flow.

They’re a relentless group of young talent that swarms on you. Given our inability to track runners from midfield most weeks, I’m not relishing the prospect.

The return of Didi Ndong and Lamine Kone will provide a boost, and we might well see Lynden Gooch and possibly Wahbi Khazri back on the bench.

It’ll be good to have alternative options in other areas of the field aside from right-back.

Maybe there’ll be a new face or two at the Stadium of Light too, either in the stand or even the squad. I remember when deadline day fell on the same night as an evening game and we signed Rory Delap.

A vague recollection of Mick McCarthy’s comments tells me they echoed some of Moyes’s. Pretty much it was a case of ‘he’s the best we could get given the situation and our budget’. We all know we went down with 15 points that season.

Fortunately, we’ve already hit that 15-point mark and we’re still in with a shout of staying up.

But, as it stands, it wouldn’t surprise me if we suffered the same fate as that team from 2006.

* The Wise Men Say podcast is available from every Monday, with SAFC debate from a variety of guests and post-match reaction from David Moyes. You can stream it direct from wisemensay.co.uk or subscribe to it on iTunes