What will Chris Coleman do with Jack Rodwell? Who will Sunderland target in January? Key questions answered

The January transfer window opens in a month and Sunderland's transfer business came under the spotlight in our latest SAFC Facebook Live Q&A with fans.

Friday, 1st December 2017, 10:10 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 5:27 am
Sunderland boss Chris Coleman.

Sunderland writers Richard Mennear and Phil Smith were joined by BBC Radio Newcastle's Sunderland AFC commentator Nick Barnes for our weekly Facebook Live chat.

To watch the full Facebook Live Q&A like our page here:The trio covered a range of topics with fans keen to know what areas Sunderland will look to strengthen in the transfer window and whether Jack Rodwell has a future on Wearside under new manager Chris Coleman.

Sunderland boss Chris Coleman.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Watch the video above for the full discussion. Here are some of the highlights from our weekly Q&A.

On January transfers and fears top scorer Lewis Grabban may be recalled by parent club AFC Bournemouth in January:

Nick Barnes: "Strikers will be a concern. We know trying to get hold of a striker is tough ask, a big ask and when you have one you do your best to keep hold of one, especially in January.

"That would be one area, centre back another. I don't think there is enough cover there.

Our Sunderland AFC Facebook Live chat is in association with John G Hogg.

"Chris Coleman will have to wheel and deal. Central midfield too. Front, middle and back - the spine!"

Phil Smith: "There is no area of the squad were you would say 'it is spot on'. I think Coleman is fully aware when he came in the pot was almost empty.

"Next summer you have the likes of John O'Shea, Billy Jones and Darron Gibson out of contract, that may lead to a more natural refreshing of the squad.

"You always felt that January would be a case of Coleman getting into his contacts book, could he get the loans in, Ben Woodburn the obvious example.

Sunderland boss Chris Coleman.

"Trying to find some young players at bigger clubs and say 'listen, six months, come in and play every week and then go back to your club. Help me out for a short time and we'll help you out'.

"And then you might see a more dramatic shift next summer and we'll really see what he is trying to do with the squad long term."

On Grabban, Smith added: "Sunderland got a great deal in terms of the loan deal; no fee, small contribution to his wages - happy days.

"But the only reason Bournemouth loaned him out on those terms was they knew the only chance they had of selling him was if he was playing football.

Our Sunderland AFC Facebook Live chat is in association with John G Hogg.

"They needed him playing football so they could then sell him. You look at Fulham, they are crying out for a centre forward."

On Jack Rodwell's future at Sunderland?

Nick Barnes: "It was interesting listening to Chris Coleman talk about Rodwell last week, he gave this long answer about it being down to Jack, down to him mentally, he would help him along etc but I got the sense Chris Coleman was distancing himself from Jack Rodwell.

"If they can offload him in January in any way I think they will look to do that.

"He has a year-and-a-half left on his contract, the money that he is earning and the lack of involvement, if I was Chris Coleman I would have him out the door straight away."

Phil Smith: "This is the difference. I think Simon Grayson found it harder to take that kind of approach with players like Rodwell and others, because he didn't really have that stature.

"Gareth Bale has just played for Chris Coleman for the last six years, Bale turned up every time and played for Coleman and did what he said.

"That gives him the aura to turn up at Sunderland and say 'if Gareth Bale listens to what I say, then you can as well.'"