KRISTJAAN SPEAKMAN says Sunderland have identified “several areas” of the squad that require improvement this summer, and has echoed Regis Le Bris’ indication that some extra Championship experience could prove valuable.

Sunderland have made one addition so far this summer, signing experienced shot-stopper Simon Moore, and have allowed both Alex Bass and Nathan Bishop to leave as part of a goalkeeping reshuffle.

The purchase of another forward is an obvious priority given the Black Cats’ lack of success in front of goal last season, while there is also a gap in central midfield following the release of Corry Evans and Callum Styles’ return to Barnsley at the end of his loan deal.

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“It’s a fluid period of time, through to the end of the transfer window,” said Speakman, who is Sunderland’s sporting director. “What you sometimes predict or you plan, it never actually comes to fruition, and you have to keep being very adaptable in that period of time.

“We've identified several spots that we think we'd like to improve, and I've always said it's around quality, and I think quality is the most important thing, but it's also around the balance and the ecosystem of the squad and the environment.”

Regis Le Bris conducted his first press conference as head coach earlier today and suggested that his squad could benefit from the addition of some players with Championship experience.


Speakman has consistently challenged the suggestion that Sunderland will only sign young players, but accepts that following the departure of Evans and Bradley Dack, the squad is lacking in proven Championship performers.

“We have lost a Dack and we have lost an Evans over the summer, so we've always had those types of profiles in the squad,” he said. “So, if we can find positive profiles in the squad like those, then we'll always try to recruit.

“I think throughout our time here, we've signed players of a variety of ages, and players have had different impacts on the team and different impacts on performances.

“Last season, we might have signed another older player, but at the time, that deal didn't come off, and the next best option for us was a different player at a different age, so it's not something that we're putting a quota on, we're just interested in getting the right profiles in the right positions, but most of all, it has to be the right quality.”