To put things kindly, Sunderland’s transfer business in the last few years has been nothing short of disastrous.
Although there have been some good acquisitions in the form of Luke O’Nien and Bailey Wright – two of the first names on the team sheet – there has been some appalling transfers.
Chief suspect in this is Stewart Donald, someone who has never really got things right in terms of recruitment.
He has worked through tough circumstances – having to keep budgets in check for a big club in League One – but he hasn’t helped his cause either.
When the Black Cats were led astray by Josh Maja’s agent when he left the Stadium of Light, desperate measures were taken.
Sunderland needed a new striker and they forked out £4m to sign Will Grigg. On paper, it was a good signing given his record for Wigan in the same division, but he has scored just eight goals in nearly two years.
Therefore, it will be interesting to see what kind of approach is taken under prospective new owners Kyril-Louis Dreyfus and Juan Sartori.
It’s already been suggested that Dreyfus could look to operate in the French market but have we received another inkling of how they could operate?
Well, according to France Football (via Sport Witness), the 22-year-old is looking to build a portfolio of clubs in France and Uruguay after taking over at Sunderland.
Now, this sounds a lot like the kind of process that’s in play at both Manchester City and Watford. Their respect owners – Sheikh Mansour and Gino Pozzo – have both ploughed investment into a host of clubs throughout world football.
The City group has a stake in Melbourne City, New York City and Girona in Spain among others. As for the Pozzo’s, they famously used their ties with Udinese to their advantage at Watford.
But why is this relevant to Sunderland? That’s because if Dreyfus takes influence from the Pozzo’s, then he could save millions in the transfer window.
By building a network of clubs, he can easily negotiate either sales or loan deals to benefit the Black Cats going forward.
When Watford were in the Championship, they signed no fewer than nine players from Udinese in the 2013/14 season. All of those deals were on free transfers. Had that link not been there, their squad will have looked vastly different and it is unlikely promotion would have been achieved.
If Dreyfus can invest in other clubs around the globe, it should only benefit Sunderland in the transfer market.
This is a cunning plan from the young businessman.