New signings at Sunderland could lead to formation changes

Sunderland manager Gus Poyet during the Barclays Premier League match at The Hawthorns, West Bromwich
Sunderland manager Gus Poyet during the Barclays Premier League match at The Hawthorns, West Bromwich
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GUS POYET admits any further arrivals at the Stadium of Light before the transfer deadline could lead to a change in Sunderland’s formation.

Sunderland were unsurprisingly deployed in Poyet’s favoured 4-3-3 system for last weekend’s Premier League opener at West Brom after the Black Cats had worked on that approach throughout pre-season.

Head coach Poyet is likely to persist with that formation this season after briefly experimenting with an orthodox 4-4-2 and in-vogue 3-5-2 last time around.

But Poyet will keep an open mind over tinkering with Sunderland’s set-up, depending on the nature of the remaining signings made by the Black Cats before the transfer window shuts on September 1.

Poyet told the Echo: “I like to call it 4-3-3 because there’s two strikers and Jonno (Adam Johnson).

“Now, it depends how you perform, as to whether you change it.

“Depending on the next few additions, maybe there could be a bit of change in there.

“But most of the time, yes, we will play like that.

“At the moment, we are not going to go to the three at the back which everyone is trying to play.

“I was convinced that that system is balanced, but you have to have the right wing-backs.”

As the Echo reported last week, Poyet is keen to strengthen at least three key areas of his side over the next 13 days - a defender, central midfielder, plus Sunderland’s long-running pursuit of Fabio Borini.

Poyet has remained confident over the last month that Sunderland will be able to seal a £14million deal for Borini, yet there are doubts elsewhere over the Black Cats’ bid to re-sign the Italian.

The Echo understands that the move has dragged on for reasons more complex than Borini simply being unwilling to leave Liverpool, or the Merseysiders waiting to sign a replacement before they sanction his departure.

Sunderland may have to be content with signing Borini for a second loan spell, or look elsewhere to strengthen Poyet’s attacking options.

The Black Cats are already doing the latter after a brief pursuit for Chile’s World Cup star Eduardo Vargas.

Sunderland made an enquiry with Serie A outfit Napoli to take the forward Eduardo Vargas on a season-long loan.

But QPR now look like winning the race for the 24-year-old, who spent last season on loan at Spanish side Valencia.