Sunderland have been sucked into a relegation battle with poor results in recent weeks. The Black Cats are currently five matches without a victory, including three defeats on the bounce. Their failure to score goals has been addressed with the signing of Jermain Defoe, but their defence also needs improving, with the tendency to leak goals no more apparent that the 8-0 thrashing against Southampton in October.
Sunderland could do with some reinforcements this January in order to preserve their Premier League status. Here are FOUR defenders that can help them achieve this:
The Man City defender – who can play either on the right or in the centre – is now 24 and is in desperate need of first team football. With no opportunities for regular football at Man City coming up anytime soon, a loan move to Sunderland could be just the ticket.
He has only made one Premier League appearance this season – ironically, against Sunderland- and around 50 career appearances in total. A defender with potential, the Belgium international has to get away from City in order to fulfil his talent and should relish the chance to be starter in another Premier League team. With Sunderland needing defenders to bolster a leaky defence, and with Boyata desperately needing first team football, this could well be a perfect match.
24-year-old Tom Lees was signed by Sheffield Wednesday from Leeds in the summer after making over 100 appearances for the Whites. He has been consistently impressive for Wednesday and has played a key role in their play-off challenge this season. He is part of a defence that have only conceded 23 times in the Championship – the second best record in the division.
The young Owl is capable of in the right side of defence but is primarily a centre back, an area Sunderland are desperate to improve. The Daily Mirror reported earlier this month that Lees could be available for around £3 million, which could prove to be a bargain price. At such a small price for this exciting talent, Sunderland should move in quick to secure his services.
29-year-old Davies was linked with a move to the Stadium of Light last month and could well be the type of defender Sunderland are looking for. The Hull City captain has been in and out of the side in recent weeks, although it appears he has won his place back for now at least. But Hull could sell the defender in order to free up some cash to pursue targets of their own.
Davies is a proven leader in the heart of defence and has plenty Premier League experience over the years. He has played over 50 times since joining Hull in 2013 and had spells at West Brom, Aston Villa and Birmingham in the top flight. Davies would certainly add something different to the defence and is an option that manager Gus Poyet should consider strongly.
Reports in the Daily Mail have linked 23-year-old Celtic centre back Virgil Van Dijk with a move to the North East this month. The Dutchman joined Celtic in 2013 from Groningen and has an extremely impressive first year at the Scottish Giants.
He played in big role in the defence that went a staggering 1,215 minutes without conceding a goal and has many admirers in the Premier League. He is a defender that looks very comfortable on the ball and has many great attributes including his killer passing range. An exciting prospect at just 23, Van Dijk wouldn’t just offer an adventurous side to the Sunderland defence, but would tighten them up with his improving positioning abilities. The young centre back is a must buy for Sunderland in this window.