Three Replacements For Rodwell, Ndong and Kone Who Sunderland Can Target
Sunderland need drastic changes and when January comes around it seems they are to shift some dead wood, as well some saleable assets in order to raise money.
Jack Rodwell, Didier Ndong and Lamine Kone all look set to exit the Stadium of Light but it goes without saying that replacements will be needed if Sunderland are to survive this season and not end up in the doldrums of League One next term.
Here we look at three realistic replacements Sunderland may be bidding for in a couple of month’s time:
Domagoj Vida (Dynamo Kiev)
The big Croation centre-back has been in good form in Ukraine and while he is not a household name, he would be a really solid replacement for Kone.
Kone was singled out by Darron Gibson (and fans) for a lack of commitment to the club, arguably something he might be about to confirm upon his departure. If it’s commitment and motivation the fans want then Vida is someone who fits the bill well.
We must keep in mind of course that Paddy McNair is also on the comeback trail and so with money tight, no move for a central defender may be sanctioned at all even if Kone leaves.
Charlie Mulgrew (Blackburn Rovers)
A few weeks ago I would have called this deal a no-brainer, with the underrated former Celtic man performing admirably in the middle of the park in this division last season. He looks capable of scoring from free-kicks too.
He can play in the centre, where he would cover the likes of Rodwell and Ndong no problem, however, he specialises at centre-half as well as proving himself as a competent left-back over the years.
The issue now though is where Sunderland would be in the table come January. There would be no point in Mulgrew leaving Blackburn, especially if they are on the promotion hunt, to head to a club looking like a League One side this time next season.
Alan Browne (Preston North End)
Definitely the least likely of the three, but his connection with Simon Grayson makes a move for the midfielder not out of the question and just like the Blackburn situation regarding Mulgrew, a lot depends on the relative positions of the two clubs at the turn of the year.
Should Preston fall from play-off contention and Sunderland improve, then Browne may see this as a move to a bigger club and could be tempted in the end. I don’t think it’s very likely though if I’m honest.