GUS Poyet’s long-term objective is to have a January transfer window where Sunderland can look to the future.
Poyet has made no secret of his eagerness to boost Sunderland’s attacking options next month, with the Black Cats netting just 14 goals in 16 Premier League outings so far this season.
A new forward is almost certain to be among the one or two signings Sunderland are looking to make in the window, with quality, rather than quantity, determining the club’s strategy.
But eventually, Poyet wants to reach the stage where Sunderland are not having to address any glaring deficiencies in January.
The head coach sees the mid-season window as an opportunity to bring in young players who can be blooded into the squad for six months before challenging for first-team inclusion the following year.
“It would be nice to have a plan for three to five years because that means you’ve got the basics of a team,” Poyet told the Gazette.
“It means you can bring in a young player.
“I don’t think that can happen this January for the first-team.
“But when we can get to the point in January when we can get a young player who is not going to play, but will be around the first team, that means we’re unbelievable.
“It will mean we’ve got a solid base and are in a great position.”
Sunderland have been keeping tabs on lower league talent over recent months – watching Ilkeston Town’s Che Adams before the 18-year-old joined Sheffield United.
They have also been scouting Exeter City’s teenage pair, goalkeeper Christy Pym and midfielder Matt Grimes, albeit Swansea City appear to be in pole position for the latter.
But after bringing in a total of 14 players during his first two windows at the Sunderland helm, Poyet believes there is at least a system of forward planning in place at the club now to avoid such hectic shopping sprees.
Inevitably, that had been eroded away when Poyet arrived on Wearside as the club’s fourth permanent manager in the space of two years.
“Yes, that forward planning wasn’t here,” he admitted.
“It’s not about blaming anyone, it just wasn’t. It wasn’t possible.
“I’m not coming here and saying we’ve got a plan for the next five to 10 years if we don’t.
“But do we need to look ahead? Yes.”
Meanwhile, the youngsters currently on Sunderland’s books will have a chance to impress tonight in the FA Youth Cup third round.
The Black Cats Under-18s host Fleetwood Town at Eppleton Colliery Welfare (kick-off 7pm) with tickets priced at £3 for adults and £1 for concessions.