The transfer window has been and gone, and this is the squad that will decide Sunderland’s fate come the end of the season.
A pretty hectic deadline day saw Chris Coleman bring in three new faces, with Ashley Fletcher, Lee Camp and Ovie Ejaria joining, to go alongside the earlier additions of Kazenga Lua Lua and Jake Clarke-Salter.
So how much difference can the new additions make, and will they be enough to keep Sunderland in the Championship?
Tuesday’s display at Birmingham was a shambles, and it was clear to everyone, as it has been for a while, that additions to the squad were essential.
Robbin Ruiter put in another one of his error-ridden displays, so a goalkeeper was a priority, along with a striker.
It looked for a while that we would fail to bring in a keeper, but Camp joining at the last minute gives us another option and for me he has to come in as first choice.
I have no faith in either Ruiter or Steele, and the willingness to offload Steele to Derby (although it collapsed), indicates the level of trust Coleman has in him.
Ruiter makes far too many mistakes; he may not do so in the comical way Steele does, but he continues to cost us points.
Camp is solid, at the very least he falls into the “can’t be any worse” category, plus as Coleman stated, he has experience in this sort of situation and by all accounts is a good character to have around.
Ashley Fletcher’s signing should allow for some much-needed pressure to be relieved from the shoulders of Josh Maja and Joel Asoro.
Whilst he is still young himself, just 22-years-old, he has a lot more experience than Maja and Asoro combined.
His goal scoring records at West Ham and Middlesbrough don’t make great reading on paper, but he hasn’t had a proper run in the side at either club and he did have a successful loan spell at Barnsley a couple of seasons ago.
Fletcher came through the ranks at Manchester United, and brings another dimension to the front line – being tall and awkward for defenders, he should complement Maja and Asoro well.
I won’t pretend to know a great deal about Ovie Ejaria, although he comes highly rated from Liverpool and Chris Coleman obviously thinks he can add something to the squad for the run-in.
Lua Lua is an interesting one, and the importance of signing him on a permanent basis rather than a loan shows, as we are limited to five loan players in a matchday squad.
Like all the signings, he wants to be at Sunderland. In addition, for one reason or another, they are all looking to prove something.
This is important. Not one of them has come to the club for an easy ride, and they will be under no illusions what they have signed up for.
They will all be looking to stand out, to catch the eye and that can only benefit Sunderland. With the money available (none), and the position the club is in, it must go down as a reasonable transfer window.
Hopefully, they can make the difference, and I believe they can.
Well they must, because if they don’t, we all know where we will end up.