The January transfer window is open for business and Sunderland manager Tony Mowbray could look to bolster his options in the coming weeks.
The Black Cats now have an opportunity to improve their squad with the hope of pushing on to challenge for promotion up to the Premier League in the coming months.
One area in which they are reportedly looking to strengthen in is at centre-back. It was recently claimed that the club are interested in snapping up Charlie Cresswell from Leeds United but it remains to be seen whether they are prepared to sign him on loan or on a permanent basis.
The Athletic have reported that the Premier League side are set to recall him from his loan spell with Millwall in anticipation of moving him on to another team, with Sunderland seemingly in the frame to secure his services.
Mowbray could now form a dominant central defensive partnership by signing the England youth international and pairing him with current Black Cats enforcer Danny Batth, who has recently returned from injury.
Journalist Josh Bunting described Batth as a “powerful” unit earlier this season and the reporter once hailed Cresswell for his “powerful” aerial ability, whilst also claiming that the Leeds man is an “excellent” defender with a “big future” ahead of him.
This suggests that Sunderland could have a strong pairing at the back by playing the two central defenders alongside each other as they are both physically dominant gems who can deal with attackers at Championship level.
Batth has averaged a Sofascore rating of 6.86 across 23 starts in the division this season and won a whopping 71% of his aerial battles throughout the campaign, whilst also making 4.1 clearances per match.
Cresswell, meanwhile, has averaged a rating of 7.02 in 15 appearances on loan at Millwall at this level. The 20-year-old has won 64% of his battles in the air and made 2.8 tackles and interceptions per game, which indicates that he is strong at winning 50/50s with his head and that he can read the game well at the back.
Therefore, having Cresswell and Batth as a centre-back pairing could give Sunderland a solid platform upon which to build their performances as they have both proven that they can dominate opposition forwards whilst consistently delivering quality displays.