Phil Parkinson discusses Arbenit Xhemajli and Danny Graham interest in Sunderland transfer update

Phil Parkinson expects to make ‘at least’ two more summer signings after adding Remi Matthews and Morgan Feeney to his squad on Friday.

Saturday, 22nd August 2020, 5:28 pm

Parkinson remains in the market for a striker and confirmed after his side’s 3-1 win over Gateshead that he has held talks with former Black Cat Danny Graham.

The win over Gateshead also saw a first appearance for Kosovan defender Arbenit Xhemajli, who is on trial at the club.

The Black Cats boss is yet to make a definitive decision on either, stressing that he has to ensure he makes the right decisions in light of the EFL’s decision to impose a squad cap of 22 senior players.

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Sunderland trialist Arbenit Xhemajli

“We're just working on areas really, people can see where we want to bring players in,” Parkinson said.

“It's a puzzle we've got to fit together.

“We've got to get the final pieces right.

“Arbenit is a good player,” he added.

“One of the factors in the salary cap issue is that it does become a numbers game.

“You can only have 22 players over the age of 21 and so we have to be really careful and ensure anyone who comes in is ready to make a contribution.

“He did well today.”

On Graham, Parkinson added: “We want to get in another forward and he's one we've spoken to. It's an important position as everyone knows and tight games can be settled by that one, clinical finish.

“The more strikers you have in the building, the better chance you've got.”

Parkinson confirmed that Sunderland will play to more friendlies before the season begins, facing Carlisle United on Tuesday and Harrogate Town next Saturday.

The Black Cats boss said he was pleased with the performance against Gateshead.

“We were disappointed to concede in the first half and that knocked us a bit,” Parkinson said.

“We created good chances in the second half and the lads who came on gave us a real energy.

“I was really pleased with their contribution.

“All in all, it was a good work out for us.”