Victor Anichebe: There are lot of quality players Sunderland could sign for free
Victor Anichebe hopes Sunderland will be able to find a way of adding new faces to their injury-hit squad in January.
And the 28-year-old – who arrived on a free in the summer – says he and Steven Pienaar are examples that clubs don’t have to break the bank to add quality to their ranks.
Sunderland’s January transfer business will be very limited given the constraints of the £140million debt and the Premier League financial fair play restrictions around wages.
Wage restrictions mean Sunderland can’t even make a loan signing unless wages are freed up by selling players.
Anichebe appreciates the issues facing the club but says there are experienced players out there who could do a job for Sunderland.
Mounting injury problems have hit the squad hard – with David Moyes down to the bare bones – while numbers will be depleted further by the Africa Cup of Nations in January, with Lamine Kone, Didier Ndong and Wahbi Khazri set to be involved.
“We need to stick together,” Anichebe told the Gazette, when asked if the injury concerns and lack of January business will galvanise the squad.
“I do think if it is possible then we do need some more bodies. That is just a fact.
“We have been very unfortunate with some of the injuries that we have had and we have some key people out.
“I know it is difficult for the people above, but there are a lot of quality players out there – I came to Sunderland on a free. So did Steven.
“There are people who could come in and do a job for us.
“We have some players that will be leaving for the Africa Cup of Nations as well – even if it was just for a short amount of time to give us some extra bodies.
“The other day we went out to train and there was only 14 players. It is difficult, but, to be honest, you don’t really think about it.
“We just have to go out and do our job and we have some of the talented younger lads who can come in if called upon and do a good job.”
Moyes, who has already expressed his disappointment over the lack of transfer activity next month, has masterminded four wins out of seven.
The 1-0 weekend victory over Watford saw Sunderland climb off the bottom for Christmas, with the Black Cats now just a point off safety ahead of the Boxing Day trip to Manchester United.
If wages could be freed up then Moyes has identified adding a midfielder and centre-back to his squad next month.
Anichebe, who returned to the Sunderland side after overcoming a thigh niggle, admits that a couple of new faces would give the squad a major boost.
“It would be good to get more bodies in and would give the squad an even bigger lift, even with this great result,” added Anichebe.
“There are experienced players available on frees, and that is what will take you over the line towards the end of the season; that experience and leadership.
“We will see. I’m not the chairman or anything like that and they are doing a great job.
“They have an amazing club here, it would be nice to get some extra bodies in to help the manager a bit more.”