Sunderland looking to offload dead-wood

Liam Bridcutt
Liam Bridcutt

Sunderland’s focus remains on shifting the dead-wood at the start of the emergency loan window, rather than sending the club’s youngsters down the football pyramid.

The loan window is now open for Football League clubs to bolster their squads with Premier League reinforcements, and Sunderland are hopeful of being active participants after the unwanted quartet of Will Buckley, Liam Bridcutt, Valentin Roberge and Charis Mavrias all remained at the club following the transfer deadline.

However, Sunderland are understood to be less keen to let those in the Under-21 squad depart.

The likes of Tommy Robson and Mikael Mandron have attracted attention from Football League sides including Wigan and Northampton respectively, but Sunderland are now far more selective over letting their youngsters leave on loan than they have been in previous years.

The Black Cats believe some academy products can gain more by remaining with the U21s at the Academy of Light than by going out on loan, particularly if they remain a bit-part player with their temporary employers- Mandron, for example, starting a total of just six games during separate spells with Shrewsbury and Fleetwood.

Instead, the priority for sporting director Lee Congerton is to ship out those first-team players who are not part of Dick Advocaat’s plans and are being limited to the U21 set-up.

There was plenty of Championship interest in ex-Brighton pair Buckley and Bridcutt during the summer, yet their wages proved a barrier towards their exits.

Neither are among Sunderland’s top earners, but both are on more than the majority of Championship clubs can afford.