Kyril Louis-Dreyfus’s arrival at Sunderland has been game-changing and his tenure so far has exceeded even the most ambitious of supporters.
That being said, he didn’t particularly have much to live up to. Stewart Donald’s reign was filled with despair as the Black Cats consistently failed to get promoted.
However, with the young Frenchman at the helm, there is already a brighter future taking shape.
Sunderland have won their first trophy for over 40 years and they are now just three points off top spot with two games in hand in League One. If they don’t get promoted this season, you have to wonder if they ever will.
The atmosphere surrounding the Stadium of Light has been much improved and that’s mainly been down to Dreyfus’ entrance.
He has a plethora of decisions to make when the summer comes round, though. A number of their players will be out of contract, including Charlie Wyke.
Failure to go up, however, and Wyke could take the decision out of the owner’s hands.
Another situation that could be taken out of his hands is the future of Dion Sanderson. The 21-year-old has been a breath of fresh air to the Sunderland backline this term, being dubbed a “shining light” and a “Rolls-Royce” by Lee Johnson for his performances.
He has been part of a Mackems defence that has now kept eight clean sheets in their last ten outings; no wonder Sanderson has received such enormous praise.
As a result of his displays, the youngster has attracted plenty of suitors throughout the Football League. Sunderland have reportedly opened discussions over a potential £2m deal, though.
This would be an almighty show of ambition and it would be a huge statement from Louis-Dreyfus if he spent such money early on in his ownership.
That being said, if they go up, he’d be a vital addition. Sanderson already has Championship experience with Cardiff and as we’ve seen in recent months, he is one of the Black Cats’ most important players.
His talent is undeniable and if you heed the words of Stephen Elliott, he’s set for a bright future.
Speaking to The Athletic, he commented: “It looks like he’s played a lot more football than he has.
“He’s composed, he steps out of defence, he can pass it, he reads the game, wins headers, even if he makes a mistake, he doesn’t get flustered. I can’t really fault him.”
Elliott added on Twitter: “If Sanderson continues playing like this then there will be a lot of higher placed football teams in the football league if not Prem after his signature. Going to be a big star.”
Indeed, that’s exactly why this signing would be such a statement of intent.
Sanderson is destined for bigger things than Sunderland; he is an astute defender with qualities in every area. £2m would be daylight robbery for a player of his quality.
This shouldn’t turn out to be another Will Grigg situation.