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Sunderland’s Dylan McGeouch is a cause of concern for Phil Parkinson

This article is part of Football FanCast’s In Numbers series, which takes a statistical look at performances, season-long form and reported transfer targets… 

Sunderland’s poor run of form may have continued on Tuesday but Phil Parkinson will likely be more concerned by the ineptitude shown by his back-up players.

There were changes throughout the team with Chris Maguire, Jon McLaughlin and Conor McLaughlin the only players who kept their places in the side from Saturday’s match.

That meant there were opportunities for youngster Benji Kimpioka as well as fringe players such as Alim Oztruk and Grant Leadbitter, yet each failed to impress – as evidenced by the SofaScore ratings.

Dylan McGeouch, however, will perhaps cause the most concern for his manager. He was described by Jack Ross as a player the fans would love because of his quality, but he is yet to show that in a red and white shirt.

As a result, he started just 14 league games last year, with five so far this campaign, suggesting he doesn’t provide adequate competition for George Dobson and Max Power.

The pair have started the majority of games this year but neither has particuarly impressed. Power has a WhoScored average rating of just 6.4 and Dobson has split opinion amongst the fanbase, with a lack of creativity from both a problem for Parkinson – evidenced by them failing to register an assist this season.

Despite that, the Scotland international is unlikely to take their place in the side if he repeats his display against Leicester City, and that means there are a lack of options available to Parkinson.

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Despite playing against youngsters, the 26-year-old failed to deliver in a variety of aspects of his game, and in truth let down both his team and manager.

He was desperately weak on the ball and that meant that with Leadbitter alongside him, Sunderland were too easy to brush aside and play through, and it is little surprise they were beaten as a result.

The Black Cats lack a midfield enforcer who is able to win the ball back. As per SofaScore, McGeouch lost every one of his five ground duels, and was dribbled past three times due to his inability to tackle, and that’s a big problem for Parkinson.

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No Sunderland midfielder has averaged more than two tackles per game in the league, while Leadbitter alone is in the fact he has averaged more than one interception per game.

That highlights the lack of quality in the midfield department, and the lack of options available to the new boss if he is dissatisfied with the performances of Power or Dobson.

Article title: Sunderland’s Dylan McGeouch is a cause of concern for Phil Parkinson

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