The latest edition of the Sunderland weekly round-up looks at the latest news from the Stadium of Light. Transfer deadline day came and went with just one new signing and although the Black Cats completed some good business over the course of January, fans were disappointed that one position wasn’t strengthened further.
Also, there was bad news on the injury front with another first-team player ruled out for the remainder of the season. A hard-fought game at Millwall brought a point, plus, we have the latest news regarding player contracts and according to reports, Premier League clubs are looking at Sunderland’s number one.
Sunderland Weekly Round-Up: Premier League Clubs Eye Black Cats Shot Stopper
Premier League Teams Eye Anthony Patterson
According to Alan Nixon of The Sun and James Copley of the Sunderland Echo, Wolves and Leicester City are interested in signing Sunderland’s number one Anthony Patterson. The shot-stopper has impressed since making the goalkeeper jersey his own in January 2022, playing a big part in the Black Cats’ promotion last season and their impressive return to the Championship.
According to the reports, Wolves want Patterson to challenge their regular keeper Jose Sa and eventually replace him. Leicester boss Brendan Rogers wants a long-term replacement for the departed Kasper Schmeichel.
Should Sunderland remain in the Championship for next season, both Wolves and Leicester could make their move.
Transfer Window Round-Up
Sunderland brought in four new signings in January. Midfielder Pierre Ekwah, winger Isaac Lihadji and defender Joe Anderson arrived on permanent deals from West Ham United, Lille and Everton. Striker Joe Gelhardt was signed on loan from Leeds United until the end of the season.
With Ross Stewart out for the season and Ellis Simms recalled by Everton, Sunderland only have Gelhardt as a recognised striker. Stewart’s injury just days before deadline day left the club in the difficult situation of trying to sign another striker. However, their attempts failed and now they have to hope that nothing happens to Gelhardt between now and the end of the season.
Sporting Director Kristjaan Speakman gave an update on three contract situations regarding three players. Ross Stewart, Alex Pritchard and Danny Batth have had their extension clauses triggered meaning they will be at the club next season.
Speakman also confirmed that they are hoping to restart talks with Stewart regarding a new long-term contract. He said: “Our ambition has always been to re-sign Ross and that remains the case.
“We’ve obviously got to be sensitive around the situation at the present time but I’m sure there will be a conversation in the near future about where we’re at with that. It was only natural that we put that on hold coming into the January window because I don’t think those conversations are ever that productive during a transfer window.
“We’re all absolutely gutted for Ross, a player who has not had the opportunity to play at this level before and has done so well. “And for a player who has been so robust for us to suffer two major injuries – it’s gutting for him as an individual and for the club.”
Sunderland’s worst fears came true during the recent FA Cup game at Fulham. Star striker Ross Stewart was injured and following a scan, it was confirmed that he would be out for the rest of the season with an Achilles injury. He joins captain Corry Evans and midfielder Elliot Embleton who are also expected to be out for the season.
In better news, defender Dennis Cirkin and midfielder Alex Pritchard both returned from injury in the draw at Millwall this past Saturday. The pair came on as substitutes and teamed up to score the equaliser. However, Cirkin who scored was knocked unconscious in the process and will need to go through various concussion protocols. He will miss the FA Cup replay but could be ready for Saturday’s home game against Reading.
Sunderland Weekly Round-Up: Hard-Fought Draw at Millwall
Sunderland came away from the capital with a hard-fought point. Dennis Cirkin bravely headed in an Alex Pritchard free kick to salvage a draw. The game saw a first start for striker Joe Gelhardt with fellow newcomer Joe Anderson making his debut from the bench.
The Black Cats were second best for large spells; however, Mowbray’s men are resilient and never gave up despite falling behind. The point earned leaves them ninth in the table, just two points off the playoff places.
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