What Sunderland do in the January transfer market will be fascinating to witness.
One thing’s for certain, Lee Johnson and Kristjaan Speakman will look to sign a player that’s competent in attacking scenarios.
Speaking last week about what he needed in his side, Johnson admitted that he could do with a player capable of stretching the play a bit more.
Of course, Jack Diamond’s introduction has helped somewhat with that but signing a more experienced professional certainly wouldn’t go amiss.
While this is all going on, Sunderland also have a takeover happening in the background. Prospective buyer William Storey outlined that if he sealed the deal, he’d look to bring in some Premier League players from respective U23 sides.
Thus, The Sunderland Echo have compiled a list of targets that could be available. One such player is Southampton’s Josh Sims.
The winger is currently on loan at Doncaster in League One but his deal with the club expires in January so may be available to move on loan elsewhere.
This deal depends on a host of things. Whether the Saints want to loan him again, or whether he just stays at Donny. Currently, Sims is rated at £1.4m.
Sunderland need to sign quick players in January and in Sims, they’d have their missing ingredient.
Speaking about the 23-year-old winger, Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl said: “I think the system’s perfect for him. And he’s not so easy to defend, because he’s small, quick and has good movement.”
That must be music to the ears of supporters at the Stadium of Light, people who became accustomed to some laboured build-up play under Phil Parkinson.
However, most promisingly is his similarities to Jonny Williams. The Charlton attacker spent a period of time on loan with the Mackems in 2017/18 but unfortunately endured most of the season out injured.
That being said, when he did play, he demonstrated immense qualities with the ball at his feet. He was a creative spark and if he’d been fit all season, the Black Cats may have stayed in the Championship.
Sims has six strikes this season and has also created eight goals, and if we compare the two players more closely, there are clear similarities.
For Sunderland, Williams averaged one dribble per game while Sims is currently averaging 0.9 for Donny. Furthermore, they are both fouled with great regularity. The former was brought down 1.4 times a game during his spell in the north-east. Sims, on the other hand, is fouled 1.7 times a game.
Combine that with the fact they can play on either wing or through the middle and you have two creative players who can magic something out of nothing.
Sims would be an astute capture if Speakman can pull off a deal.