Gus Poyet says Sunderland’s transfer strategy this summer marks an important break with the past, writes James Hunter.
Last season, the Black Cats paid the price for a scattergun approach to transfers 12 months ago, when director of football Roberto De Fanti brought 14 players to Wearside – only a handful of whom arrived having already had Premier League experience.
Yet, of the seven signings made by Poyet in conjunction with new sporting director Lee Congerton so far this summer, only former Brighton winger Will Buckley has no experience in the English top flight.
Poyet said: “We have a plan, where we want to be, what we think we need to have, how we can improve from the past.
“We (himself and Congerton) went through what we need, the numbers, the names, if you know them (the players) it’s easier because you’ve watched them.”
Asked about Sunderland’s decision to scour the domestic market for transfers this summer, Poyet added: “I think it was something we were missing.
“I think it was something we have maybe changed. We needed a few, young British players to come into the club and we were trying to target a certain style of players and making sure we had a good combination.
“I’m not an extremist, I don’t want all British or all foreigners.
“It’s a good mix of knowing in which positions you need some of one or the other, but I also think it’s important a club like us have some assets for the future because that is a way to produce, to bring players in in the future.
“It’s not just about buying and buying and spending and spending.”
Sunderland’s work in the transfer window is far from complete, Poyet admitting over the weekend he still needs to strengthen three key positions.
His main target remains Liverpool striker Fabio Borini, who spent a successful season on loan with the Black Cats last term.
Sunderland agreed a £14m fee with the Merseysiders for Borini last month, but the deal shows little sign of nearing a conclusion. It is is now possible Sunderland may look to land the Italian on another season-long loan if they cannot sign him outright.
Meanwhile, defender Carlos Cuellar is set to sign for Championship side Norwich City, having left Sunderland this summer when his contract expired.
SUNDERLAND begin their Barclays Under-21 Premier League campaign tonight against Liverpool at Eppleton CW (7pm).