For Monsieur Salut’s latest piece for ESPN FC, the victory in Hannover took second place to the more immediate news of Connor Wickham’s move to Crystal Palace being confirmed.
I am in two minds about his departure. There is clearly a good player struggling to break out of the not-so-good one Sunderland fans have too often seen. Wickham worked hard out wide last season, a role he would not have chosen for himself, and he also suffered when used as a frontman from the same lack of viable service that had bedevilled Sunderland’s play for seasons.
— Connor Wickham (@ConnorWickham10) August 3, 2015
So my verdict was that his transfer reflected the club’s disappointment at the player’s failure to develop as hoped, but made plenty of sense, for all concerned. And I naturally wish him well.
The reported fee of £9m is generous considering his low haul of goals and it will help Dick Advocaat and SAFC’s sporting director Lee Congerton in their rebuilding efforts. But since Advocaat rationalised the decision to sell by saying he had too many strikers, the hope must be that they will not place reliance exclusively on those who remain. Perhaps more movement out as well as in (and not just midfielders Leroy Fer and Yann M’Vila) is inevitable.
This is from the ESPN FC article:
Jermain Defoe remains his first choice and should be a good deal more effective as service improves from a strengthened midfield. But Duncan Watmore is unproven at Premier League level and fans have no reason to expect goals galore from Steven Fletcher or Danny Graham.
Have your say on what we know about the latest transfer activity, and also what we believe may be happening. Will you miss Wickham? Do you agree the remaining strikeforce needs significant strengthening? And what do you make of the likely acquisition of Fer and M’Vila?