Sunderland poll: Where do fans want Sam Allardyce to strengthen?

Jan Kirchhoff
Jan Kirchhoff

The January transfer window is hotting up and Sunderland AFC supporters have outlined their key priorities before it slams shut.

We asked fans about five hot topics surrounding Sam Allardyce’s first team squad and which areas he should be looking to strengthen.

Jeremain Lens has divided opinion since arriving at the club for £8million in the summer.

Fans were quick to have their say online and we can now reveal their answers.

1) Do Sunderland need another centre-back after the Jan Kirchhoff signing?

Yes – They can’t rely on Brown/Coates/Kaboul/O’Shea to play every game – 71%

No – Sunderland have enough cover, the focus should be on a striker – 29%

Sunderland signed Jan Kirchhoff on an 18-month deal from Bayern Munich for £750,000 and he made his debut in the 4-1 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur.

And what a memorable debut it was, sadly for all the wrong reasons.

The German was at fault for two of the goals and looked shell-shocked on his debut for the Cats.

Fans have voted overwhelmingly for Sam Allardyce to target another centre-back this window and Lamine Kone could still arrive on a loan deal until the end of the season.

2) Should Jeremain Lens be sold this month?

Yes – Sunderland should cut their losses – 40%

No – Lens will come good and the club needs him – 60%

Jeremain Lens has divided opinion since arriving at the club for £8million in the summer.

And after a falling out with Allardyce, his days at the club looked numbered.

But after being left out of the squad against Chelsea for disciplinary reasons, the Dutch wideman has since fought his way back into Allardyce’s plans and the first team, impressing against Arsenal and Swansea.

And fans want Lens to stay and prove he was worth the cash splashed on him in the summer.

3) With Jordan Pickford back at the club, we asked which goalkeeper should Sunderland sell?

Vito Mannone – He is wanted by clubs in Italy. Sell him in this window – 47%

Costel Pantilimon – The Romanian has made mistakes and his distribution is poor – 53%

Pantilimon’s days at Sunderland have come to an end, with just over half of fans agreeing with the decision to sell the Romanian international.

Pantilimon has signed a three-and-a-half-year deal with Premier League rivals Watford.

With Pickford excelling in the defeat at White Hart Lane, the England Under-21 international looks set for an extended run in the side.

And Italian stopper Mannone will be pushing him for that first team spot despite interest in him from Italian side Verona.

4) Which strikers should Sunderland sell this month?

Danny Graham and Steven Fletcher – both are out of contract in the summer so cash in on them now – 86%

Jermain Defoe – He would be a major loss but there is interest in the former England international – 2%

None – Keep them all – 12%

There was barely any interest at all from Sunderland fans in selling the club’s leading goalscorer Jermain Defoe this month – hardly a surprise, hey?

Bournemouth were rumoured to be among his suitors before they signed Benik Afobe from Wolves for £10million.

But an overwhelming 86 per cent want to see both Danny Graham and Steven Fletcher sold this month or nine out of 10 fans.

And with Graham set to complete a move to Blackburn Rovers on loan, they may well get their wish.

Fletcher is a long-term target of Scottish side Celtic.

5) Which position do Sunderland need to strengthen most?

Defence – Big Sam needs to add a centre-back and right-back – 39%

Midfield – More pace and flair needed – 30%

Attack – Sunderland rely on Jermain Defoe too much – 31%

Fans were clearly divided over which area needs to be strengthened most during the remainder of the window.

Striker Dame N’Doye has joined on loan and defender Kirchhoff on a permanent deal, with further signings in the pipeline. But the majority of fans think the defence is the area that needs focusing on the most before 11pm on Monday, February 1, when the transfer window slams shut.