We know there’s a lot of rebuilding to do. We know we have some expensive players on our books who we really can’t afford. And we know we have some talent we want to keep.
So there’s a balancing act to do, and our retained list is just the start. Some of these players won’t be here when the the season kicks off. Others will.
The big question for me is what kind of club are we building? Are we buyers or sellers? We’re League One, which means bigger clubs – and there are many of them now -can attract our players, both those established and worth a bit more, or youths who can be lured away to the lights and the likes of Anfield Stadium.
We do have prospects. Our Academy is coming a little bit good, some of the better lads seem willing to stay, and we can afford players beyond the scope of many of our competitors. It looks like an interesting pre-season is beginning.
I’m surprised Strieyk is going, although he was never going to replace our courrent number one. I’m pleased Bali Mumba is still here, making the right noises, but where will he be come August?
Duncan Watmore? I want him to stay but is he too expensive to keep? I read somewhere he’s on a lot of money. So too Dylan McGeouch, whom I think is worth perservering with.
And what about our on-fire damp squib Will Grigg, and our our Niall Quinn replacement Charlie Wyke? I’d sell them tomorrow. But could Ethan Robson, Elliot Embleton or Benji Kimpioka step up?
Then there are our game-changers. Aiden McGeady, Chris Maguire, Glenn Loovens (well, he changed things at Portsmouth). Surely Loovens won’t stay. Surely he shouldn’t.
Here’s the full retained list.
You must have opinions of your own. Let’s hear what you think about it, and who you’d like to be on it – or off it- come August:
Players aged under 24 as of 30 June 2019 who have been retained or have a contract offer pending:
5 thoughts on “Sunderland’s retained list: Who’s yet to take a walk? Who’s yet to arrive at our doors?”
Apparently Mcgeouch and James have signed new deals
Malcolm, can’t argue against any of your comments. My criticism of Grigg and McGeouch are purely based on fitness and resulting overall form last season. Hopefully they have an injury free start to next season and play to the best of their ability.
As for Ozturk, he arrived obviously a little overweight and low on fitness. But I remembered him as a powerful centre-back at Hearts, happy to carry the ball forward and that 40 yard screamer scored against Hibs. So I just smiled at his detractors reaction when he became undroppable end of the season.
Stryjek always impressed me when I saw him play for the U23s and I was hoping we would keep him but he is now at an age where he would not be able to play at that level and he would not get regular football unless McLaughlin got injured. It makes sense for him to look for a club where he will be the number 1. Not extending his loan in January would not have done much to persuade him to stay as by all accounts he was proving to be a popular at Eastleigh and doing a good job.
The others on the retained list are all assets so whether we want them or not they have a monetary value. Personally I would keep Grigg and McGeouch as I feel Grigg will come good if the team is set up to play to their strengths.
Looking at things as objectively as possible, my one criticism of Jack Ross is that his team selection and tactics became less dynamic as the season wore on. If you think back to the first fifteen or so games we often used that lopsided 4-5-1 formation, where players moved around a lot, switched positions, looked to get forward a lot and we used the wings to good effect. Later, with McGeady fit and latterly Wyke, we played a much more rigid formation and created fewer chances in games.There seemed to be a greater reliance on McGeady and a greater emphasis on retaining possession rather looking to blow opponents away.
I can’t leave without mentioning Alim Ozturk who now seems to be a favourite of those social media types who earlier in the season said he was a total waste of space and should never have been signed.
could Stewart Donald be a little strict on offering these young players a lower wage and telling them sign or you are off, the likes of strycheck who has played for his country,and Jack Ross saying he wants him to stay ??
Max Stryjek is the strange one. By all accounts very impressive out on loan, made sub for the playoff final and Ross said in March he was one to be retained. Now bombed out, did he ruffle feathers by announcing he wanted more 1st team football?
The rest retained may bring in money, but based upon form and fitness we could have let go Grigg, James, Loovens, Love and McGeouch without noticing they’ve gone.
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