January is normally a strange month for football clubs, especially at Sunderland.
In recent years we haven’t enjoyed the best of times during the winter window.
Failed signings such as Liam Bridcutt, Danny Graham, Ignaccio Scocco and Santiago Vergini somewhat overshadow the seemingly successful purchase of Jermain Defoe.
This January appears slightly different.
Although 99 per cent of fans have been left bemused by Steven Fletcher’s loan move to Marseille, most will be glad to see the back of the under-performing Sebastian Coates to Sporting, even though it is only a loan deal again.
With us sitting in 19th, signings were needed.
I can’t help but feel that Sam has noticed an area that needed strengthening (defence), and focused his business there.
Signing Jan Kirchoff may pay off, despite his horror debut against Spurs. I mean, training with the players at Bayern Munich has got to improve a player, right?
And Kone looks more than capable of strengthening the back four.
But in doing so, he seems to have left himself bare up the field.
Getting rid of Connor Wickham in the summer seemed strange, especially at his age, and the departure of Fletcher has left Sam with an ageing Defoe, and misfiring Borini and an unproven N’Doye.
Wahbi Khazri was a much-needed creative addition, but whether he has the men to feed the through balls to is now in question.
Fletcher gave us another option, an aerial threat.
Now without that, if plan A doesn’t work, which it hasn’t for much of the campaign, we no longer have a plan B.
It’s been a mixed window, but with clubs around us spending money and buying proven quality, I must say it’s left me fearing the worst.
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