Phil Parkinson has revealed that he is interested in signing former player Ben Alnwick, per the Sunderland Echo, a player whom he has previously managed during his spell at Bolton.
The goalkeeper played a part in the Trotters’ defence which won promotion from League One in 2017 after conceding just 36 goals in the league, and the Black Cats’ boss will hope he can replicate that success if he signs.
Alnwick has been training with the club but Parkinson admitted that offering the 32-year-old isn’t a priority due to already having two first-team goalkeepers at the club in Lee Burge and Jon McLaughlin, both of whom have featured this season.
However, if the £315,000-rated keeper proves his quality and his fitness, having not played for a while, then he could gain a contract even if it is only for the short-term – and that is an option Parkinson should certainly consider.
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One of the most important factors for Parkinson to make a success of his time at the club is to build a strong team spirit, as he alluded to in his Doncaster post-match press conference.
He has made a big step to do that by removing Aiden McGeady from the first-team squad, but the personnel he brings in will also be vital to achieving that goal.
Sunderland also need quality, however, and that is why Alnwick ticks a lot of boxes.
The manager will be aware of the attributes he brings to the squad on and off the pitch and that could be why he was keen to bring him in, even if it’s only on a non-contract basis at first to train with the team.
However, the former Spurs shot-stopper is a hugely experienced League One player and knows how to deal with the pressure of a promotion campaign, if Sunderland ever get round to mounting one of their own. He has made 125 appearances at this level, keeping 35 clean sheets in the process.
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Lee Burge and Jon McLaughlin haven’t exactly hit top form this season either, with the latter at fault for Doncaster’s equaliser on Sunday. Meanwhile, the fact they have made 11 and 20 appearances respectively suggest their manager is not reassured by either player.
Parkinson was assured in his belief when speaking about the spirit of the squad, find out what he had to say here and what it means for Sunderland’s chances of success.