Fans, understandably, look at new signings and, if a player is coming on a free transfer, feel underwhelmed and wonder whether progress is actually being made.
Long experience has taught Monsieur Salut to avoid rash judgements just because July starts without any major new additions. On that wretched but sometimes useful thing that is social media (beware, Trump’s there a lot), there are already early signs of concern, dismay and even panic among Sunderland supporters. Trump hasn’t yet expressed a view.
But Lee Burge, a goalkeeper newly released by Coventry City. arrives at the SoL as stand-in and competition – PLEASE, not as a replacement – for the excellent Jon Mclaughlin. He and Conor McLaughlin, a full back from Millwall, appear to be Jack Ross’s choices and for as long as we keep the faith in Ross, we must trust his judgement.
And come what may, Burge and McLaughlin – their photos appear by courtesy of safc.com –
deserve and get the traditional Salut! Sunderland welcome.
We greeted McLaughlin’s arrival at this link.
This is an edited version of how the club describes the move:
The experienced stopper, who left Coventry City at the end of the 2018-19 season, has signed a two-year deal.
He is 26 and spent 15 years with the Sky Blues, joining the club’s academy at 11 before rising through the ranks and becoming a key first-team player.
Born in Hereford, he made 160 appearances for Coventry, lifting the EFL Trophy in 2017 before returning to Wembley one season later and winning promotion via the League Two Play-Offs.
Speaking about his arrival, Burge said: “This is a club that can offer me everything I want, and the stature of the club is incredible. As a player, you want to train at the best facilities and play in the best stadiums, and this is by far the best place I have experienced.
“I just can’t wait to get going.”
Ross added: “I’m delighted to welcome Lee to Sunderland AFC. It was an area we were looking to strengthen, and as you can see from his record, he boasts a wealth of experience within the Football League.
“Throughout the last 12 months we have worked hard to bring the right type of players to the club, and I’m sure Lee will fit seamlessly into the group.”