The Black Cats won promotion to the second tier through the play-offs last season and they now need to improve their squad to give them a chance of competing next term.
One player that the club are hoping to sign is AFC Wimbledon midfielder Jack Rudoni. The Daily Mail have recently claimed that they are discussing a deal with the League Two outfit after seeing an initial offer of around £1m turned down.
Speakman must now secure a deal to sign the 22-year-old, as he can form a dream partnership with Sunderland prospect Dan Neil.
In League One last term, the Black Cats gem produced three goals and seven assists from central midfield in 31 starts. He created 1.1 chances per game and seven ‘big chances’ for his team-mates, whilst also making 1.7 tackles and interceptions per match.
The 20-year-old has shown that he can provide a creative spark from the middle of the park, and his qualities can create an exciting blend in midfield when mixed with Rudoni’s ability to score from that position.
In 2021/22, the AFC Wimbledon maestro plundered 12 goals in 38 starts as he showcased a will to burst forward and make late runs into the box to score.
South London Press journalist Edmund Brack recently lauded the gem in an interview with the Bristol Post, saying: “He’s quite direct. When he picks up the ball, his first thought is always to go towards goal. It’s a 1-2 and then he’s off.
“He’s quite fearless. Anyone his age, they could be affected by the winless run AFC Wimbledon went through last season (the Dons failed to win 28 games in all competitions from December 11 through to the end of the season) but he continued to put in performances, and he nearly kept them up alongside Ayoub Assal and Luke McCormick.”
These comments highlight how positive Rudoni is in possession, while his goalscoring statistics show that he has the end product to go along with it.
Therefore, the AFC Wimbledon gem and Neil would be an exciting pairing in midfield. One can provide the creativity and the other can add the finishing touch, giving Sunderland a huge attacking threat to supplement the likes of Alex Pritchard and Ross Stewart, who netted 30 league goals between them last term.