Sunderland’s signing of Josh Scowen means they have now reinforced every area of the squad, following the additions of defender Bailey Wright and striker Kyle Lafferty.
The midfielder will help to strengthen the depth of Phil Parkinson’s side, and given he has played 21 games for QPR at Championship level this term it is likely he won’t take long to win a place in the side.
The 26-year-old arrived for an undisclosed fee earlier this week and could take part in the match against Tranmere this evening, with George Dobson and Max Power once again lacking the creativity to unlock a stubborn Doncaster defence last time out.
That has been a familiar problem for the Black Cats for the majority of the season, and the reliance on the front-three to score and create chances has grown considerably as a result, with Charlie Wyke, Chris Maguire and Lynden Gooch scoring a combined seven goals in the last six games.
It will be interesting to see if Scowen can make a difference in the middle of the pitch, though his versatility also enables him to play on the right flank, too, so he will also be useful in acting as cover for Luke O’Nien at right wing-back.
The defensive attributes he possesses are perhaps what led Parkinson to bring him in, as like his new midfield teammates he offers little going forward, with eight goal contributions in 106 appearances for the R’s.
Both Dobson and Power have been ever-present for the Black Cats this term with 27 and 28 respective appearances, so it will be intriguing to see who Parkinson prefers, though judging by the stats it should be Power who makes way for Scowen.
According to WhoScored, Scowen has made 2.1 tackles and 1.3 interceptions per game throughout his career, particularly excelling with Barnsley where he averaged 2.4 tackles per match as he helped the Tykes to promotion from League One.
That grit and determination could add steel to Sunderland’s midfield and make them even more difficult to beat, having conceded just three goals in their last seven matches.
His understanding of the league and battling nature could be crucial to a promotion campaign where grinding out wins and draws is essential to getting over the line.
Power has also experienced promotion but fans have been turning against him on occasion, with the need for greater improvement in evidence.
As per WhoScored, he ranks lower than Scowen in tackling and interceptions, while an average rating of 6.5 indicates that he is the weak link in midfield.
In other news, one EFL manager has sung the praises of one Sunderland individual for a controversial move that he has made.