Sunderland AFC transfer news RECAP: Will Harris departs on loan as Covid-19 cases put Wycombe game at risk plus latest on Patrick Roberts and Frederik Alves
Sunderland completed their first January signing this week following the arrival of teenage tight-back Trai Hume – with Lee Johnson hopeful of more additions before the end of the month.
The Black Cats will be looking to strengthen in multiple positions, with a new striker the priority to provide support for Ross Stewart.
Johnson also expects a few players to leave on loan, while talks over Frederik Alves’ future have been delayed after the West Ham loanee tested positive for Covid-19.
Sunderland have returned multiple positive tests, meaning Saturday’s game at Wycombe is at risk.
We’ll have all the latest news, transfer talk and more throughout the day:
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LIVE: Sunderland AFC transfer news (January 6)
Last updated: Thursday, 06 January, 2022, 16:19
- Sunderland have made one new signing this month following the arrival of teenage right-back Trai Hume.
- Lee Johnson says some players will leave the club on loan.
- Saturday’s game at Wycombe could be postponed due to Covid-19 cases in the Sunderland camp.
- Reports have claimed Patrick Roberts is set to leave French-side Troyes.
Promising Sunderland striker Will Harris has joined Barrow on loan for the rest of the season.
The 21-year-old striker has been on Barrow boss Mark Cooper’s radar for some time and he completed the loan swoop on Thursday afternoon.
Harris has been handed squad number 17 and could go straight into contention for a debut in the FA Cup tie at Barnsley on Saturday.
Harris has scored 10 goals in nine Premier League 2 outings this term and also made six first-team appearances.
“I’ve been chasing him for a while,” Cooper told the Barrow website.
“He’s 6ft 2ins, he’s a Number 9 who can run, get hold of it and he can score so he’s been in and around the first team at Sunderland on the bench and he’s come on a few times.
“I want the players we bring in to be hungry. I didn’t want someone on a final pay day, I want young and hungry players with a pedigree to play up front and who can help us.
“What really impressed me about Will was that he was desperate to come and play.
“He could have stayed and sat on the bench for Sunderland, but he wanted to come and be a part of our first team environment, be one of the starters and play games.
“We managed to get the deal done to bring him to the club and we’re really pleased about it.”
A Sunderland statement read: “Everyone at SAFC would like to wish Will the best of luck during his time at the Dunes Hotel Stadium.”
Ainsworth on facing Sunderland
Here’s what Wycombe boss Gareth Ainsworth had to say about Saturday’s match.
Wycombe lost 3-1 at the Stadium of Light earlier in the season.
“We know it’s going to be tough; they’re in the top two for a reason and on great form at the moment.
“We actually performed well up at their place in August and I don’t think the scoreline reflected the game and the chances that each team had, but it was an early learning curve for us this season and hopefully we’re stronger this time around and able to get the right result.”
Frederik Alves talks delayed
Sunderland were set to hold talks with West Ham and Frederik Alves about the players loan situation, yet those talks have been delayed after the player tested positive for Covid-19.
Alves is yet to start a league game for Sunderland this season, and his lack of game time is a concern for his parent club.
The defender appears likely to leave Wearside before the end of the month, meaning Sunderland will need cover at centre-back.
Johnson admitted yesterday that Sunderland are likely to let some players leave on loan this month.
The Black Cats will need to sign suitable cover, yet Johnson is keen for some of his younger players to gain more regular game time.
“We’re working in the background, that’s for sure,” said the head coach.
“We may well look to get some loan moves for young players who need game time, and that’s one to watch out for.
“As always, we’re trying to improve the squad.
“There are some [U23] players who have been in and around it, and there has been a lot of interest actually.
“We can’t let all of them out, because there’s fixtures to fulfill, but some of these guys need games.
“We always talk about young players needing those 25 games across a season and that’s for a number of reasons, for themselves, for the club, to maintain their value both monetary and improving their potential in terms of possibly coming back into the first team.”
Patrick Roberts latest
Sunderland are in the market for another attacking midfielder, while reports have suggested they are in talks with Manchester City playmaker Patrick Roberts.
The Echo understands Roberts is one of several options Sunderland are monitoring, though it’s unclear on what terms he would be available.
Roberts will be out of contract at City in the summer and looks set to leave French side Troyes, following a disappointing loan spell.
According to French outlet L’Est eclair, Roberts, alongside Phillipe Sandler and Levi Lumeka will all depart the Ligue 1 club this month.
What’s the latest Covid situation
Let’s start with this weekend’s game.
Johnson said in yesterday’s press conference he remains hopeful that the Black Cats will be able to play against Wycombe but, with two rounds of testing between now and the match, it is impossible to be certain.
Current guidance from the EFL is that games should go ahead when clubs have 14 eligible players, including one goalkeeper, available for selection.
A player is eligible if they have been named on the club’s squad list, or if they are U21 and have played a senior league game.
The Echo understands that at this point one further player being ruled out of the trip to Wycombe would leave Sunderland in a position where they can ask for the game to be called off.
The crucial factor is whether some players who had had the virus will return a negative lateral flow result in the coming days, allowing them to leave isolation and potentially feature.
Read more HERE
Welcome to today’s SAFC live blog!
There’s plenty to discuss including the latest transfer news as well as this weekend’s game against Wycombe Wanderers.
The game is at risk of being postponed after multiple Covid-19 cases in the Sunderland camp, with head coach Lee Johnson saying there is ‘a low to medium to risk’ of the game being called off.
We’ll have live updates throughout the day.