Sunderland enjoyed a busy January transfer window as Kristjaan Speakman brought in a number of players to bolster then-manager Lee Johnson’s squad.
Jermain Defoe, Jack Clarke, Jay Matete, Trai Hume, Danny Batth and Patrick Roberts all came in to aid the club’s attempts to win promotion to the Championship this season.
Another January signing who the club could end up making an embarrassing error over is attacking midfielder Patrick Roberts.
At the time of his arrival, Johnson said: “We hope that this is the place he calls home for a number of years.”
However, that may not transpire as he is attracting interest from elsewhere. TEAMtalk recently reported that Belgian side Union Saint-Gilloise are keen on a deal for the former Manchester City man at the end of the season.
They are set to have Champions League football to offer and want to tempt Roberts into making the switch just months after he signed for the Black Cats.
This is where Speakman must act quickly to avoid making this blunder. He was only able to agree a short-term deal with the forward until the end of the season and must now extend his terms to secure his future at the Stadium of Light.
At the very least, Roberts signing a new contract would allow Sunderland to recoup a fee for his services instead of losing him for nothing in the summer.
The winger has one goal and has averaged 1.3 key passes per game across ten matches in League One, starting four times, and has the potential to improve further at the age of 25. He still has his best years ahead of him as he is yet to reach his peak and he could enjoy that at the Stadium of Light if he stays.
Ex-Black Cats player Stephen Elliott dubbed him “sublime” recently and former Norwich head coach Daniel Farke also previously hailed 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.”
These comments suggest that Sunderland are yet to see the best of the attacker and that is why they cannot lose him on a free. It would be embarrassing to lose a player of his talent without receiving payment for him just months after bringing him to the club, which is why Speakman must rectify his error to avoid making another one.