Who is Sunderland's new recruitment and scouting consultant Rob Mackenzie and what will he do?

Mackenzie has taken up a short-term role at the Stadium of Light
Mackenzie has taken up a short-term role at the Stadium of Light
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Sunderland face a crucial summer as they look to bounce back from relegation to the Premier League.

Eight players will see their contracts expire, three loanees will return to their parent clubs, and a number of those under contract will be sold.

David Moyes has himself said he expects to have a core of around 10 or 11 players from the current squad to build from.

It is an immense challenge, and help has been drafted in, with Rob Mackenzie joining on a short-term, consultancy basis.

So who is he and what will he do?

Where will he fit in at Sunderland?

Mackenzie has been drafted in to help ensure Sunderland get their recruitment right this summer, with Ellis Short admitting in the immediate aftermath of relegation that mistakes had been made in that department.

David Moyes, despite doubts over his future, has an eye on young British players who he hopes can adapt to Wearside and the Championship quickly.

Himself a prolific scouter, he has been watching games all season with an eye to this summer, and will have a firm idea of the targets he is looking for. Any current uncertainty about his position stem from the fact that he is waiting for word from Ellis Short as to whether it is possible to put those plans into place and to what extent.

Mackenzie will provide advice and insight to both Moyes and Chief Operating Officer Simon Wilson, who joined from Manchester City in December.

Wilson has his hands full overseeing the summer of upheaval, a number of players seeing clauses in their contract activated due to relegation. Jermain Defoe is the most high profile of those, while most squad members will see an automatic drop in their wage.

Mackenzie has a reputation for talent spotting and this is likely to be his main role as the Black Cats look to bounce back from the drop.

What is his background?

The 31-year-old has already worked at three clubs before taking up his current role.

Leicester City - Head of Technical Scouting, 2011-15

Mackenzie was part of Steve Walsh's team as Leicester worked their way to the Premier League title, though he left for Tottenham Hotspur the summer before their eventual triumph.

Walsh has developed legendary status in the game for spotting the likes of Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez and N'Golo Kante and acquiring them at precious little cost. They unearthed a number of players from the lower leagues across Europe to help get Leicester into the top tier and stay there, something the Black Cats will have to consider if unable to land key targets from these shores.

Mackenzie has been credited with a key role in bringing Mahrez in particular to the King Power Stadium.

Tottenham Hotspur - Head of Player Identification, 2015-16

Brought in to work with Paul Mitchell, who had enjoyed great success with Mauricio Pochettino at Southampton, Mackenzie helped make a number of key signings for Spurs, as detailed himself in a series of excellent Sky Sports articles.
Toby Alderweireld was signed to play alongside Jan Vertonghen, the pair forming the most formidable defensive partnership in the league. Kieran Trippier is making an impression at right-back while Son Heung-Min has emerged as a key player in the Argentinian's high-pressing game.

Vincent Wanyama, signed last summer, has proved to be a bargain, though Vincent Janssen has been less successful thus far.

Mitchell and Mackenzie both left the club that summer, Mackenzie rejoining Nigel Pearson at Derby.

Derby County - Director of Recruitment, 2016

Mackenzie's time at Derby is almost impossible to judge, such was the brief nature of Pearson's tenure there.

Matej Vydra was signed in a significant deal, but the return of Steve McClaren and a 4-3-3 formation meant he made little impression. He has since returned to the side under Gary Rowett. Ikechi Anya was also signed, the winger making 29 appearances this season. He was another player identified to help Pearson's transition to the 4-4-2 and counter-attacking style that had worked at Leicester, a system quickly dumped after the change in manager.

Overall, Sunderland will hope Mackenzie's time at some of the cutting edge scouting departments in the British game will help him unearth a gem or two this summer.