This is what to expect from Sunderland on deadline day as Black Cats make final moves

In the aftermath of Sunderland's 3-1 win over Wycombe Wanderers, it was put to assistant head coach Jamie McAllister that there did not appear to be any need for a last-minute trolley dash.

Tuesday, 31st August 2021, 6:00 am

It was a trying start to the summer, the patience of supporters tested as the Black Cats waited to make key breakthroughs.

In the week leading up to the first league game of the campaign, the positivity of some vibrant pre-season campaigns was still being tempered by the obvious gaps in the squad.

Almost a month on, the Black Cats are recruiting from a position of strength.

Sign up to our Sunderland AFC newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Sporting Director Kristjaan Speakman

Some of those gaps have been impressively filled by academy talent, others by some ambitious acquisitions.

In both style of play and profile of player recruited, Wearside has been given a much clearer picture of what the future looks like under Kyril-Louis Dreyfus.

McAllister agreed entirely with the argument presented.

At one stage this summer Lee Johnson admitted that a challenging market was giving him sleepless nights.

Not anymore.

Sleeping much more soundly, Johnson said on Friday that the challenge for Sunderland on this final day of the window was to turn a 'very,very good' window into an 'outstanding' one.

The head coach made clear that were there to be no further additions on deadline day, he would be more than content with the squad he now has at his disposal.

If waiting until January gives Sunderland access to a higher calibre of player, then so be it.

Behind the scenes, though, there remains real hope that the Black Cats can make one or two further strides in the final hours.

Sunderland are looking to strengthen in their goalkeeping department, a market in which they have been active for quite some time.

An addition in that part of the field would likely leave them with a short-term dilemma as to whether the best option for Anthony Patterson is to then go out on loan to get senior experience.

Johnson has always said that he sees the 22-year-old as a viable contender for the number one spot, and he has done his chances no harm with some assured displays of late.

Given that the U23 goalkeeping ranks are now well stocked, you suspect an arrival could well lead to a departure of some sort.

The other position where an addition seems likely at this stage is in the wide areas.

Johnson hinted just over a week ago that he was pursuing an ambitious deal in this part of the pitch, suggesting that in turn could lead to Jack Diamond going out on loan.

Both remain distinct possibilities at this stage, with Sunderland having made significant progress in their pursuit.

Denver Hume's contract impasse means that the full-back position is one in which the Black Cats still have work to do, whether it be in deadline day or in January.

Sunderland have remained active, with Arsenal youngster Ryan Alebiosu one option, but Carl Winchester's outstanding form of late means a signing would be welcome, if not quite the necessity it once appeared.

Expect some movement up front, too.

Doncaster Rovers have the broad strokes of a deal in place to sign Will Grigg, but have work to do in making space on their wage bill.

That could allow Sunderland one final move.

A message from the Football Clubs Editor

Our aim is to provide you with the best, most up-to-date and most informative Sunderland AFC coverage 365 days a year.

This depth of coverage costs, so to help us maintain the high-quality reporting that you are used to, please consider taking out a subscription to our new sports-only package here.

Your support is much appreciated. Richard Mennear, Football Clubs Editor