Three key concerns for Sunderland on transfer deadline day

Liam Bridcutt is surplus to requirements
Liam Bridcutt is surplus to requirements
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Sunderland only have until 6pm tonight to add the finishing touches to their squad for the next four games.

Here are the three key concerns for Sunderland on transfer deadline day:

1. Is another striker on the way?

The £7.75m signing of Fabio Borini yesterday proved to be a much-needed boost to Sunderland’s attacking options, particularly after such a long-running saga involving the Italian international.

But Dick Advocaat had been searching for a powerful targetman for the central role in his 4-3-3 system, with Borini not a perfect fit for that role.

The indications are that Borini will be the sole striking arrival in the last 48 hours of the transfer window.

Yet will Sunderland be tempted if a more orthodox centre-forward becomes available, particularly as they have two domestic loans remaining?

2. Can they ship out more of the dead-wood?

Emanuele Giaccherini’s return to Italy yesterday removed one of Sunderland’s top earners from the wage bill.

But Will Buckley, Liam Bridcutt, Valentin Roberge and Charis Mavrias remain on the books, despite Sunderland spending the summer trying to offload the quartet.

Dick Advocaat has made it clear to those players that they will be limited to the Under-21s this season, if they remain at the Stadium of Light after the transfer deadline, albeit they could still join Championship clubs on emergency loans.

Sunderland want to get them out though, and may have to strike a deal over paying a percentage of wages if any are to move to the Championship.

3. Will another defender arrive?

Sunderland are clearly vulnerable at the back after shipping 11 goals in the opening four games.

The full-back positions, in particular, are in need of reinforcements, with opposition sides targeting Sunderland down the flanks.

The most likely piece of business Sunderland will do today is to bring in another defender and with two loans available from their Premier League peers, there are clearly possibilities for the Black Cats to strengthen that area.