The January transfer window is well underway and Sunderland have already been hard at work as they go about improving their squad.
Trai Hume was unveiled as the club’s first signing of the window this week, with the right-back joining on a permanent basis from Linfield.
Another player who has been touted with a switch to the Stadium of Light is Manchester City attacker Patrick Roberts. Football Insider recently claimed that the attacker is poised to join the League One outfit, cancelling his loan with Troyes in the process.
If Sunderland are able to complete a deal for the Citizens man then it could lead to Lee Johnson brutally axing Aiden O’Brien from the squad.
The £6.5k-per-week dud has struggled to make a big impact in League One this season and the arrival of another player in his position could send him further down the pecking order. He has produced one goal and one assist in 14 appearances, starting seven of those games, and missed two ‘big chances’ in the process.
O’Brien has also lost a whopping 66% of his duels on the pitch, whilst creating 0.7 chances per match. This shows that he has struggled at both sides of the game this season and could be in line for the axe with a new signing coming in.
Roberts has endured a difficult season in France, playing just one Ligue 1 match for Troyes in the first half of the campaign. However, he has previously shown promise during a loan spell with Celtic in Scotland, scoring 18 goals and providing 26 assists in 78 matches for the Hoops.
Former Norwich head coach Daniel Farke also previously lauded the forward’s talents, saying: “He is a brilliant lad who is full of potential. He is the type of player who can change a game because he has this ability that he can create something in a one against one situation.
“He has already shown he can offer an end product on a different level up at Celtic, in front of a big crowd with the pressure and tension that brings.”
At the age of 24, the wizard still has plenty of years left ahead of him to develop and Johnson could look to improve him on the training field at Sunderland. This is why he could be an excellent addition to the squad, as he is a player with quality and potential.
His incoming would also allow them to offload O’Brien as Roberts would add an extra option in the wide areas. Although, instead of selling the 28-year-old, Sunderland could axe him to the reserves and use him in case of injuries or suspensions.