The under the radar wing-backs Sunderland should sign to challenge Denver Hume - according to WyScout
With the League One salary cap in place, third tier clubs are having to become clever in the transfer market.
We’ve already seen Sunderland pursue two left-field targets in Arbenit Xhemajli and Mateo Bajamich this summer – so could they pursue a similar route as they look to secure some competition for Denver Hume?
Phil Parkinson has also spoken of how he has used WyScout – an online scouting and recruitment tool – to perform checks on the likes of Xhemajli over the course of the summer.
So using the software, we’ve tried to identify some under the radar targets the Black Cats could aim for as they seek some additional depth on the left flank...
How we’ll search for the targets
We’ve taken a selection of Hume’s statistics from the 2019/20 season and applied them to our search – meaning we’ll be looking for players with a similar level of performance and output to the man currently in possession of the starting shirt at Sunderland.
It’s fair to say that Hume has performed well in Parkinson’s 3-4-3 system and is perhaps the ideal mould of player for that role, so basing our search for a new left-back off his characteristics should give us players equally well-equipped to feature in the Black Cats’ chosen shape.
Our search will be based on the following parameters, all of which are akin to the numbers Hume hit last season:
- A minimum of five crosses per game, with a 30% accuracy
- A minimum of five dribbles per game, with a 50% accuracy
- A minimum of 50% of defensive duels won per 90 minutes
- A minimum of three progressive runs (i.e. those which contribute to a serious attack) per game
- An average of one assist every five games
We will also include an age bracket, and focus on players aged between 18 and 30.
Since WyScout keeps telling us to sign Alphonso Davies from Bayern Munich – which, while a nice idea, is just slightly unrealistic – we’ll also ensure that players have a ‘market value’ of less than £1million.
We’ve also added a condition that all players must have played at least ten senior games as a left-back or left wing-back.
So who should Sunderland sign?
After entering our search parameters, WyScout throws up five different names.
We’ll profile each of them below:
Current club: OH Leuven (Belgium)
Born in Benin, Aguemon is also in possession of a French passport – which makes it far easier for the wing-back to play in Europe.
By far the most experienced of the names brought up by our search, the 28-year-old has strong pedigree having previously played for Toulouse, Vannes and Strasbourg before arriving in the Belgian top flight.
While traditionally a more attack-minded player, used to featuring as a winger or forward, WyScout suggest that Aguemon has played as a left wing-back on a number of occasions over the last twelve months.
He averages an assist every four games and has proven himself equally adept in a defensive sense.
Witiness Chimoio Joao Quembo
Current club: Nacional (Portugal)
Commonly known as ‘Witi’, the wing-back currently plies his trade in the second tier of Portuguese football.
He hails from Mozambique and is a typical modern day full-back – offering as much in the attacking third as he does in the defensive one.
Witi’s statistics bare a clear resemblance to those of Hume, and even exceed many of the Sunderland man’s when it comes to his involvement in and around the opposition area.
But with a contract running until 2024 at his current club, it’s unlikely Witi will be on the move any time soon.
Jean Carlos de Brito
Current club: Hammarby IF (Sweden)
The Brazilian wing-back is currently on loan with TPS in Finland, having previously spent time with Spanish side Osasuna during his formative years.
A full-back by trade, de Brito has found himself pushed higher up the field in recent months and has put in some impressive performances for his temporary side.
His attacking stats are not as convincing as Hume’s, but in a defensive sense he provides some real solidity and wins a high percentage of his defensive and aerial duels.
Current club: FC Isloch Minsk Raion (Belarus)
It’s worth qualifying before diving into Nekrashevich’s that most of his football has come in a reserve environment – and the Belarusian has only played a handful of senior games.
That may be the reason that his performance data, especially in an attacking sense, far dwarfs that of Hume’s. He completes more dribbles, lands more successful contributes and contributes towards more goals than the Sunderland man.
But those statistics need to be taken with a real pinch of salt given the level Nekrashevich is playing at.
Current club: Bray Wanderers (Ireland)
Formerly on the books of Wolves, Thompson has played as an attacking midfielder during his time in Ireland with Bray Wanderers and previously Bohemians – but was regularly used as a full-back during his time at Molineux.
He brings many attacking traits to that department, and is comfortable carrying the ball forward and a real threat on the flanks.
But he is yet to make a real impact on the senior game, and the vast majority of his time spent playing as a full-back has come in Wolves’ under-23 set-up.