Recent reports have seen Sunderland linked with a move for Leicester City stopper Daniel Iversen, with the Danish giant having returned to the King Power Stadium after enjoying an impressive campaign on loan at Preston North End last season.
While the latest indication from Brendan Rodgers is that he could fight it out with Danny Ward for a starting berth in the Foxes side – following the recent departure of long-serving skipper Kasper Schmeichel – a move away can seemingly not be ruled for the 25-year-old, with Ward likely to be the first-choice moving forward – having started on the opening weekend against Brentford.
With Rodgers also revealing that another back-up goalkeeper could be brought in, that fact could potentially open the door for the Black Cats to pounce, with the 6 foot 4 Iversen seemingly set to be a real coup for the Championship side.
At present, manager Alex Neil has just two senior goalkeeping options in his squad, despite sporting director Kristjaan Speakman having already brought in Alex Bass as a back-up to 22-year-old Anthony Patterson.
The Leicester man would not just offer an extra body, however, but a direct threat to the latter man’s first-choice status, having already had 18 months experience at second tier level, as well as having spent time out on loan at Belgian first division side, OH Leuven.
Lauded by Rodgers for being a “fantastic shot stopper”, the £1.8m-rated ace conceded just 83 goals in 71 games during his spell at Deepdale – keeping 23 clean sheets in that time – while the aforementioned Patterson has made just 39 senior appearances to date for both the northeast side and Notts County, with this his first campaign in the second tier.
Iversen’s form last term for Ryan Lowe’s side saw Preston reporter George Hodgson suggest that the former Denmark U21 international is simply “too good”, having proven himself more than adept at competing at Championship level.
For Neil and co, there would also be a sense of excitement that the £22k-per-week colossus could prove to be their own Schmeichel – Kasper, not Peter – with suggestions that he could try to emulate his compatriot, whom he dubbed “one of the best keepers in the world”.
That will generate excitement among Black Cats supporters consdering just how much of an “icon” the 35-year-old has been – in the words of Rodgers – for his national team, for Leicester and for the Premier League over the last decade or so, having only recently made that surprise switch to OGC Nice.
The one-time Manchester City man had racked up 478 appearances for the Midlands outfit since joining the club back in 2011, notably forming an integral part of the side that remarkably won the top-flight title in 2016.
A real force of nature between the sticks and a real ‘leader’ on and off the pitch, Schmeichel is an impressive figure to try to emulate, with those at Sunderland likely to reap the rewards if his heir apparent Iversen can join the club this summer.