Sunderland reporter Chris Young answered all these questions and much, much more as part of our final Q&A as the tour of North America came to an end.
Recap the full Q&A by clicking here.
As the only journalist from the North East following the club overseas, Chris has been bringing you all the latest on new signings, what we can learn from the friendly games and updates from head coach Dick Advocaat and his squad.
Here is a selection of the best questions:
What did you think of Sunderland’s win over Toronto?
CY: It was slightly better than the two games in California, but still wasn’t great and Dick let his players know as much afterwards. Sunderland still looked stodgy going forwards and you have to bear in mind that Toronto’s substitutions went into double figures as they introduced some young players.
Hopefully, the likes of Lens, Kaboul and Coates will make a difference.
Kieran (@SAFCKie) asked: We lack quality in midfield. Who would you like to see arrive on Wearside? Dembele perhaps?
CY: I agree the midfield area is still one which needs to be addressed. They need someone with some guile and a goal in him who can complement the work rate of Catts / Larsson / Rodwell. I think Dembele would fit the bill, but I’m not sure Spurs are going to sell him.
@Ian__Mason tweeted: Do you expect to have to field bids for any key players and do you still expect us to utilise both domestic loans?
CY: I don’t expect any of the key players to depart.
Lee Cattermole has just signed a new deal and they’re determined to hold on to Costel Pantilimon at this stage. I do think they’ll use at least one domestic loan, probably closer to the deadline.
@Ian__Mason asked: Do you think Beadling, Watmore or any other youngsters will be included in senior squad?
CY: Beadling, Watmore and Pickford have clearly been earmarked at the moment after coming out to N America.
In the 21s, Greenwood is rated highly, but it’s still a bit soon for him. Pickford’s situation depends on Vito and / or if a Championship club can give him regular games on loan.
Beadling will possibly head out on loan. Watmore? I’m surprised we’ve not seen a bit more of him in the friendlies.
Michael Bowers (@MichaelBowers15) tweeted: Chris said clubs were wary of paying £15m for Austin but could we offer cash plus Fletcher and/or Graham?
CY: Depends if QPR want either of them!! Problem in shifting Fletcher and Graham is their wages too. Neither are at the top, top end of the wage bill.
But they’re still on PL salaries. Not sure QPR need too many more of those.
Kieran (@SAFCKie) asked: The draw has been kind to us this season. How many points to do expect to see on the board after the first month?
CY: I agree. Think there’s a real opportunity during the first 2 months of the season to put some points on the board. You look at the first 10 games, and I’m sure Dick will be looking at getting more than a dozen from that run.
@eddy_clarke asked: It it true we have to sell before we can buy more?
CY: As I reported yesterday, it’s not about a lack of money available for transfer fees.
They’re simply looking to shift a few off the wage bill to comply with PL salary regulations (that Short himself proposed a couple of years ago). When you look at the squad, there’s clearly 4 or 5 who can go.
SAFC Dolphins @sportmad72 was keen to know what Chris thinks the back four will be this season?
CY: Haven’t seen enough of Matthews yet, but he’s made a couple of mistakes in the friendlies, so I’d keep Jones at right-back and PVA at left-back.
Difficult to leave out Coates after his performances at the end of last season. Then I think you’re looking at JOS v Kaboul. A lot depends on Kaboul’s fitness.
Jeff Potts @Jp1969Jp asked what are the chances of the club paying up contracts if players can’t be moved on?
CY: Only one who they could potentially do that with would be Roberge. They did similar with Cabral and Diakite after all. But I still think they’ll be a club in Europe who’ll take him on loan for the last year of his contract.
@Tonyyoung35 tweeted do you think £14million is a big outlay for four players? Surely we should be spending at least £30million this window to boost team?
CY: Think you have to judge on what they’ve spent by the end of the window, not at this stage. Think getting those 4 for £14m is pretty decent business.
I still expect them to spend a few more quid later in the window. They need to.
Rob Hutch @RobHSafc ended with: Have there been any horrific initiation songs so far?
CY: I don’t know the song, but I’m told Adam Matthews was very good. He’s your outside bet for Celebrity X Factor (which will inevitably be on our screens eventually).
Recap the Q&A in full by clicking here.