Prior to David Moyes’ appointment as manager of Sunderland on 23 July the club had not made a single signing during this summer, with several players having left the club.
Following the departures of Wes Brown, Steven Fletcher, Emmanuele Giaccherini, Danny Graham, and Santiago Vergini, along with the return to their parent club’s of last seasons loanees Yann M’Vila, Dame N’Doye and Ola Toivonen, Moyes inherited a squad lacking in depth and as such, requiring reinforcements.
Moyes moves to make a quartet of signings
Subsequently the 53-year-old, who has previously managed Preston, Everton and Real Sociedad manager has initiated a late summer recruitment drive, which has resulted in four new players arriving at the Stadium of Light.
The source of three of those four players is Moyes’ former club Manchester United, as Sunderland agreed a deal to sign the defensive duo of Donald Love and Paddy McNair for a combined fee of £5.25m, whilst they also secured the services of the talented Belgian winger Adnan Januzaj on a season long loan.
Each of those players featured for Sunderland as they produced a valiant performance to lose their opening game of the 2016-2017 English Premier League season 2-1 to Manchester City. Whilst Love played the full match, both Januzaj and McNair appeared as substitutes, with the 21-year-old Northern Irish internationalist scoring an own goal in the 87th minute, as a point cruelly escaped Sunderland’s grasp.
In addition to the aforementioned trio, 27-year-old Senegalese centre back Papy Djilobodji has joined Sunderland from Chelsea for £8.08m, with the potential existing for Moyes to make yet further additions to his squad.
Creating room for further new recruits
With a view to facilitating that, the Scotsman has allowed four players to leave the club. Whilst Jordi Gomez has joined Wigan, three other players have been sent out on loan. Specifically whereas Liam Bridcutt has signed for Leeds on a temporary basis, Will Buckley and Adam Matthews will spend the season on loan at Sheffield Wednesday and Bristol City respectively.
Just as Moyes may sign more players before this summer’s transfer window closes on 31 August, it is altogether possible that there may be further departures from Sunderland, particularly since central defender Lamine Kone, who played an instrumental role in the club avoiding relegation last season, has submitted a transfer request.
Nevertheless despite that Kone played the entirety of Sunderland’s defeat to Manchester City and produced an extremely assured performance, as a strong indication that the 27-year-old Ivorian may still have a future with the Black Cats.
Ultimately the club are now far better prepared to handle the demands of the forthcoming season than they were before the arrival of Moyes, who has initiated a flurry of astute late summer signings, whilst he retains a commitment to further strengthen his squad.