Ok, so we have ripped up the long followed Sunderland rule book on how to prolong transfer targets until the final hour and been extremely proactive already during the transfer window, and its not even July yet!!!
The departure of Jordan Henderson seemed to start things off as one of our much loved (although not if you believe the rubbish that Adrian "Gingerballs" Durham spouts about our fans) youngsters from the academy sealed a big money move to Liverpool. I wish the lad well and hope he goes on to great things there (although not in the first game of the season) and hopefully with England .
The cash from that sale has meant we have been able to bring in some pretty useful additions to our thread bare squad.
Already through the door are some exciting and attacking prospects in the shape of:
Connor Wickham: Heralded by many as the future of English football - well at least he was until he signed for us, at which stage the press have changed their tune as he is not joining their much loved top four clubs.
Ji Dong-Won: An unknown entity from South Korea but a striker with a big reputation in Asia and hopefully someone that can become a star like his compatriots in the Premier League, although I fear his lack of knowledge of the English language will see him struggle during his first season.
Sebastian Larsson (a freebie and a bloody good one at that, he chose us -or should that be Steve Bruce - ahead of several other clubs and is a strong addition to our midfield)
Kieren Westwood: I'm still not sure on his role yet, some see him as our new number one? Personally I hope Craig Gordon has an injury free season and proves himself as our number one. Simon Mignolet was an able deputy last season, so regardless we now have strength in depth in at least one position.
So what next for a club that openly admitted they would be looking to bring in 7 or 8 new players at the end of last season? Well we seem to be half way there but for me we are still desperately needing to shore up a weak defence (with the exception of Titus Bramble and Phil Bardsley). It appears that Craig Gardner is confirmed and surely that gives us enough midfield options. Charles N'Zogbia would be nice but he continues to prove that he is more interested in lining his pocket than his love for the game - probably not the type of player we would associate with our club.
So in defence we have obviously been linked with John O'Shea & Wes Brown, plus midfielder Darron Gibson from Man Utd but the fact that those talks were several weeks ago and all the papers seem to have gone cold on the idea as they look to find a 'bigger team' to come in fo them, I'm not convinced we will see any of them in the red and white stripes next season. So who else? Guy Demel has been linked (again), a useful addition but probably not more than a squad player? I'd like to see us pursue Jonny Evans again (following their signing of Jones), but there simply aren't that many good defenders around these days - Brede Hangeland and Christopher Samba would be great additions but doubt they would join us as they have been linked with top 4 clubs all season. I'm sure that Niall Quinn, Steve Bruce and Ellis Short will pluck one or two from nowhere before the start of the season and my mouth is watering at the prospect. Hopefully we will go for Nedum Onuoha again, either on loan or a permanent signing will do for me.
So that leaves us with our strikers? Are we now confident we have enough firepower in the form of Asamoah Gyan, Connor Wickham, Ji Dong-Won and the wonderful Stephane Sessegnon? I'd like to see us try and get Danny Welbeck or Daniel Sturridge on loan again next season and if we did that I'd be more than happy.
Indeed Bruce has already confirmed he would be looking to maximise loan signings again, a policy I have long since applauded (unfortunately until last season it was not a policy we seemed to consider).
So my final question to you is where do we need to strengthen next? Have your say in the poll below.
Where should Sunderland look to strengthen next?
Goalkeeper (0 votes)
Left Back (71 votes)
Centre Back (49 votes)
Right Back (10 votes)
Left Midfield (17 votes)
Right Midfield (0 votes)
Central Midfield (1 vote)
Defensive Midfielder (1 vote)
Attacking Midfielder (4 votes)
Striker (23 votes)
176 total votes