We’re just a matter of weeks into the new season and Sunderland already find themselves amid a harrowing injury crisis – and in the worst possible position.
Indeed, first-choice goalkeeper Vito Mannone has been ruled out for three months and understudy Jordan Pickford – who started against Southampton last weekend – has withdrawn from England U21 duty due to a thigh problem.
According to The Guardian, the Black Cats have appealed to FIFA in the hope of completing a deal for shot-stopper Mika, whose move to the Stadium of Light unfortunately missed Wednesday’s 11pm deadline.
But it’s further added that if Sunderland aren’t granted special dispensation to conclude the deal outside of the transfer window, they’ll ask the Premier League for permission to sign a goalkeeper on an emergency loan.
Although it has been banned for outfield players, clubs can still sign goalkeepers on an emergency loan in extremis – such as an injury crisis leaving them without a senior player between the sticks for a Premier League fixture.
But with the summer window now closed, who’s actually available? We’ve taken a look at six options from the Premier League…
Sunderland missed out on a deal for Asmir Begovic whilst the window was open but Chelsea and the Bosnian international could be more open to a move if it’s on an emergency basis.
The 6 foot 6 shot-stopper is well-established in the Premier League, thoroughly excelling during five campaigns as Stoke City’s No.1, and would arguably be an upgrade on Vito Mannone with a small helping of Champions League experience under his belt.
Crystal Palace are notably well-endowed in the goalkeeping department, with summer signing Steven Mandanda backed up by Wayne Hennessey and club icon Julian Speroni.
The latter may now be past his best but with over 500 games to his name in Scottish and English football, the ageing Argentine could certainly do a job for the Black Cats.
If there’s one concern, however, it’s that Palace may refuse to sanction a deal with a potential divisional rival.
Once of England No.1 fame, Paul Robinson now finds himself backing up Tom Heaton at Burnley.
The veteran shot-stopper has suffered a fall from grace in recent years but he certainly can’t be faulted in terms of experience and would surely relish the chance of first-team football in the Premier League.
That being said, Burnley might not be so keen on strengthening a team that are expected to finish above them in the top flight this season.
If you’re in need of a journeyman goalkeeper, look no further than Stuart Taylor.
Since beginning his career in 1997, the veteran shot-stopper has plied his trade with twelve different clubs – albeit, six on loan – but made just 75 league appearances in total.
Nonetheless, Taylor remains a safe pair of hands and Southampton would likely be prepared to let him leave temporarily – provided Fraser Forster’s injury isn’t a serious one.
Arsenal’s entertaining understudy David Ospina doesn’t see too much action now Petr Cech’s around and with the Gunners boasting a solid third-choice in Emiliano Martinez, they might be willing to let him find game-time elsewhere.
The 70-cap Colombian is vastly experienced and up there with the best in the business in terms of shot-stopping. In fact, he’s a far superior goalkeeper to Mannone, so even obtaining his services for a few weeks would be a real coup for Sunderland.