“Neil needs to be careful” – Sunderland eye transfer move for PL midfielder: The verdict | OneFootball

“Neil needs to be careful” – Sunderland eye transfer move for PL midfielder: The verdict

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Football League World

This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…

FLW understands that Smallbone could be allowed to leave Southampton on loan this summer.

But would he be a good signing for Sunderland? And do they need him?

Our FLW writers share their thoughts…

Josh Cole

This would be somewhat of a risk move by Sunderland as Smallbone has never played in the Championship before during his career and thus it will take him some time to adapt to this level.

Furthermore, when you consider that the midfielder missed a considerable chunk of the previous campaign due to injury, there is no guarantee that he will be able to maintain his fitness next season.

If Sunderland are looking to bolster their options in this particular position, they may find it beneficial to look elsewhere this summer.

By signing a midfielder who possesses a good track record in the Championship, the Black Cats could boost their chances of achieving a relative amount of success at this level later this year.

Quiz: Are these 20 Sunderland transfer facts true or false?

1 of 20

The club signed Trai Hume from Glentoran

True False

Simmey Hannifin-Donaldson

This could potentially be a decent signing for Sunderland.

The club certainly need to strengthen their options across the board following promotion to the Championship and Smallbone would likely be a good option at second-tier level.

The problem is, we just don’t know how good Smallbone is due to the limited game time he has had at Southampton.

He’s made just 20 appearances for the Saints during his short career so far, and although he has shown glimpses of real ability, he is yet to prove himself across a full season in a gruelling fixture schedule such as the Championship.

Adam Jones

It does feel as though they could benefit from having one more option in the middle of the park, especially with Carl Winchester and Luke O’Nien being dragged out to full-back at times, especially the former.

Corry Evans has a decent amount of Championship experience under his belt but another player of a higher calibre is also needed and this is where Smallbone could contribute.

He’s certainly worth taking on a cheap loan deal – because that could enable them to address other areas with the limited amount of funds Alex Neil will have at his disposal.

It’s not as if they will be overly reliant on the Irishman either because they have Evans and O’Nien who can do a good job in the middle of the park, so the Southampton man is someone worth taking a gamble on.

However, Neil needs to be careful that this signing doesn’t hinder Dan Neil’s development.

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