Sunderland supporters have been getting a bit anxious in the last couple of weeks about a lack of activity in the transfer market, but I honestly don’t think they have too much to be concerned about.
They’ve not got the numbers they need, but what they have bought has been solid enough. There’s no super stars in that list of players but there’s no weak links either. It reminds me of that Peter Reid squad that I was part of, and we didn’t do too badly.
I think there is a recognition that they need to get players capable of taking them to the next level, and Jack Rodwell is a good addition for them. He is a player who is looking to get back into some kind of form, and he was a real prospect when he was at Everton.
Then there is Fabio Borini. I like the Italian – he’s a good player and he made a big difference for Sunderland in some really big matches last season, but I look at the valuation that Liverpool have attached to him and I’m really not sure about it.
Fourteen million pounds is a lot of money to spend, and I think if the move doesn’t go through Sunderland will have dodged a bit of a bullet.
Borini can play to the left of a striker or to the right, and he will probably go on to get you double figures next season – just. I don’t think he’s a really prolific striker who Gus Poyet can hang his hat on, and for £14million Sunderland might be asking themselves whether they can get a bit better.
I put it out on Twitter and the opinion seemed to be split about 50-50. This has been a summer of strange transfer valuations anyway – we had Ross McCormack and we also have Romelu Lukaku costing Everton an eye-watering £28million, which is an awful lot of money.
Is Borini half of a Lukaku? I don’t know about that, but they’re both players coming through. It’s a gamble for Sunderland to go and spend that kind of money on someone like Borini.
Sunderland have at least cleared out some of the dead wood over the summer. They shipped out Ignacio Scocco and I don’t think anyone will miss him or some of the other players who offered very little to Gus last year. Their squad needs numbers, but if they can bring in a little bit more quality then I’m confident that they will be in much better shape than they were in last season.
As I said, I’m not entirely sure about Borini at that price though.