Dylan McGeouch's exit may only scratch the surface for Sunderland amid Aberdeen transfer rumours
Pre-season is just a few days away for Sunderland, but Jack Ross’ to-do list remains a large one.
Sunderland fans are calling for new incomings, and rightly so - by Stewart Donald’s own admission, at least half a dozen new faces will be required before the window closes on September 2.
But adding those faces will leave Ross’ squad hugely over-stocked, and something needs to be done.
Perhaps the biggest problem facing Ross comes in central midfield where an abundance of options will be vying for a starting spot.
It’s highly likely that at least one will leave before the window closes. Rumours suggest that could be Dylan McGeouch - with Aberdeen interested.
In many ways, the Scot has proven to be the right player at the wrong time for the Black Cats. On the face of it, McGeouch was exactly the type of player the club sought to recruit last summer - experienced, keen to prove himself in the English game and willing to adapt to Jack Ross’ more attractive style.
But his opportunities were hindered by circumstance. At times there was a cry for more defensive solidity, seeing Lee Cattermole and latterly Grant Leadbitter handed midfield berths, while when a more attacking approach was sought the likes of George Honeyman and Max Power got the nod.
That meant there was often no room to accomodate McGeouch, who prefers to operate in a more deep-lying role. But let that not take away from some stellar displays, particularly in the wake of the Black Cats’ defeat to Portsmouth in the Checkatrade Trophy final. When in a 4-4-2, McGeouch flourished - but it would be a surprise if Ross opted for that formation in the long-term.
McGeouch is arguably the sensible choice when it comes to sacrificing a midfielder - with a willing buyer and no hindrance of high wages to prevent a move - but his exit still won’t fully solve Ross’ problems.
There will still be six candidates for a maximum of three starting spots - meaning the Scot’s potential exit may only scratch the surface.
Further outgoings are likely – but who will leave is anyone’s guess.