What happens to the Australian’s future remains to be seen. The defender is out of contract at Bristol City at the end of the campaign so could make the move to the Stadium of Light on a free transfer if they were interested in doing so.
However, despite signing Tommy Smith today, it appears as though the Mackems have someone else lined up as cover.
According to an exclusive story from Roker Report, the Black Cats have brought in Dutch defender Wouter Verstraaten for a trial period from South Shields.
A source close to his current club describes the 23-year-old as a “Rolls-Royce of a defender” but he has been plying his trade in non-league football.
The step-up would be huge and it appears as though some Sunderland fans weren’t overly convinced as they compared him to flops of the past. One went as far as making reference to Laurens De Bock, someone who played just ten times earlier this season before moving onto pastures new.
Not another laurens de bock I hope
— Ewan Bowman (@ewan_bowman) February 20, 2020
Is it another Baki Mercimek?
— George Heighton (@GhGheighton) February 20, 2020
Other supporters decided to focus on the younger players at the Stadium of Light, suggesting they deserved a chance over someone who would potentially arrive permanently from a non-league outfit.
Two fans made reference to Brandon Taylor who had been linked with surprising moves to Leicester, Everton, Bournemouth and Southampton during the January transfer window.
Aged just 20, he is yet to play for the Sunderland senior team and judging by the club’s record at U23 level, dipping their toes into the academy for a replacement for Wright might not be the best of ideas.
They sit bottom of Premier League 2 Division 2 and have won just one league match since February 2019.
That being said, bringing someone through from the academy is surely more worthwhile than a completely unknown quantity.
Thought 4 premier clubs were sniffing round Brandon Taylor? Surely he must have something
— michael aynsley (@artyspooner1974) February 20, 2020
Why can’t we just bring up Jack Bainbridge? He was solid in the Checkatrade/Leasing.com trophy so we should give him atlewst a back up spot.
— TheBetterTwin (@TheBetterTwin10) February 20, 2020
Or even Brandon Taylor.
— Ollie (@ollie432) February 20, 2020
Blood the youth for me la
— Richy kemp (@Kempoid84) February 20, 2020
More reaction was centred around how Verstraaten had been compared to a Rolls-Royce in Roker Report’s story. One particular fan claimed that Glenn Loovens had picked up a similar comparison before going onto have a poor spell in the north-east.
He appeared on only 13 occasions for the Black Cats after moving from Sheffield Wednesday.
Loovens was also described as a ‘Rolls Royce of a defender’ by a Wednesday fan. Hope he has more of an impact!
— Adam Henderson (@AdamHenderson15) February 20, 2020
Whether or not Phil Parkinson’s men bring in the 23-year-old defender permanently remains to be seen, but there is certainly a huge amount of scepticism from the fan base over doing so.