With the reign of Sam Allardyce under way at Sunderland, the most important factor to the club’s survival this season could be the business he makes during the January transfer window. The aim for Allardyce at this point should really be to keep the club within touching distance of the clubs around them when January arrives. The transfer window at this point of the season is known to be a hard window to negotiate deals but with Sam Allardyce’s track record they may be in very capable hands, providing the board open up the opportunity for money to the new boss.
The squad of players in which Allardyce has inherited looks short on quality and it currently looks his biggest task yet to keep one of his clubs within the Premier League. With talk already beginning of who could arrive at the club in January, there is some options available to him to help keep this team in the top tier of English football.
The QPR hit-man is out of contract in the up-coming summer and the opportunity for QPR to cash in on the English striker could be limited. Austin is a box striker and would provide Sunderland with the goals needed to survive. With Jermaine Defoe, Steven Fletcher and Jeremain Lens not doing the business the club needs an out and out striker to finish off the chances that they do create. Other teams could be in the frame for Austin so Allardyce would have to be persuasive and must keep the team close to other clubs to sway Austin to joining his revival. With Jermaine Defoe’s future at the club also up in the air a move for Austin may be the top priority for the club.
One of Allardyce’s trusted followers, Nolan always brings his heart and soul with him to each club he has played for, exactly what Sunderland need right now. Kevin Nolan is only thirty-three and still has a lot to offer a club. A free agent, he could potentially make a move before the window, though the club is dismissing this move for now. Important goals and leadership is the big positives to Nolan’s game and another English character which could provide important to Allardyce’s chances of staying up. A contract until the end of the season could be an option for Sunderland, as other clubs near the bottom of the table could potentially target Nolan to help their relegation fight so a decision could be made sooner rather than later on Kevin Nolan.
With West Ham insisting that former player James Tomkins in not for sale, Allardyce may view a move for Welshman James Collins a viable option. Collins would not be the most glamorous of signings for the club however could be a smart bit of business. Collins has fantastic experience and provides a full hearted attitude which is needed when watching Sunderland this season. The defence of Sunderland is ageing as is Collins who is now thirty-two. Despite his size and stature he does have a sharp burst across the backline, which would help support whoever plays beside him whether it is John O’Shea or Younnes Kaboul. Playing a deep line is not unusual for a Sam Allardyce team so this could provide the team with another leader and add much needed fight going into the second half of the season.
Ahmed ElmohamadyDespite playing for Sunderland previously the Egyptian wing back could be on the market in January and a return may appeal to the Hull man. He is expected to one of the most in demand players during the transfer window. A host of clubs in the Premier League are linked with making a move including Swansea and West Brom however Allardyce could join the race the sign the Hull City wide-man. Elmohamady would provide Sunderland with great energy down the right hand side, whether playing on the right of midfield or at right back. He proved throughout last season that he is one of hardest working players in the league and providing plenty of crosses for the strikers and other offensive players. Allardyce is known for being direct with his play so having a top wide player might not be a priority right now, however a player with Elmohamady’s ability could really prove a big help to their cause.
The club will press on and will be no doubt one of the busiest clubs within the January window, however this a distant thought for the club as the importance to keep themselves in touching distance will be the biggest key for the club.