Head of recruitment Martin Glover is overseeing plans for Sunderland’s summer shopping spree after taking up his new role at the Stadium of Light, writes Chris Young.
Glover left a similar position in charge of incomings and outgoings at Leeds United in January after just six months in the job, with a view to being reunited with Sam Allardyce at Sunderland.
The pair have worked together since Allardyce’s tenure at Blackburn, when he promoted Glover to head of player recruitment, before taking him to West Ham as a key part of his backroom team.
Now the duo are working alongside each other for a third spell after Glover has spent several weeks in his new position at the Academy of Light.
Glover’s remit is to oversee Sunderland’s recruitment operation; correlating reports from scouts who have watched possible targets in the flesh, plus video and statistical analysis of players from the club’s technical staff.
Alongside head of scouting Steve Houston and club secretary Ryan Sachs, he will take on many of the duties left by ex-sporting director Lee Congerton, who was placed on gardening leave last November, albeit his contract runs until the end of the season.
But Sunderland will not be returning to the director of football model, with Allardyce ultimately in charge of the club’s transfer activity and proving his competency in January with arguably the Black Cats’ most successful window in at least five years.
Allardyce and his backroom team trawled through hours of footage in January in a bid to unearth potential recruits, and it paid off with the four additions – other than third-choice keeper Steve Harper – significantly boosting Sunderland’s survival bid.
Jan Kirchhoff, Lamine Kone, Wahbi Khazri and to a lesser extent Dame N’Doye have prompted a notable upturn in Sunderland’s performance levels, even if Allardyce has been frustrated by the failure to put more points on the board.
Sunderland splashed out around £14million to bring Kone and Khazri to the club from Ligue 1, and the French market continues to be one that the Black Cats are eyeing.
Bordeaux midfielder Clement Chantome – an ex-team mate of Khazri – has been watched, with the 28-year-old out of contract this summer.
And Sunderland scouts were also in the crowd for Rennes’ clash against Nantes last weekend.