Tony Mowbray explains Sunderland transfer difficulty and name-drops Ellis Simms | OneFootball

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Football League World

·19 August 2023

Tony Mowbray explains Sunderland transfer difficulty and name-drops Ellis Simms

Article image:Tony Mowbray explains Sunderland transfer difficulty and name-drops Ellis Simms


  • Sunderland's transfer window has focused on signing young players with long-term potential and significant resale value.
  • The average age of all of Sunderland's summer recruits is just 21.1, highlighting their forward-thinking philosophy.
  • However, there is a concern that Sunderland has not adequately addressed their need for an experienced striker, with the club solely dependent on young frontmen.

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Sunderland have undertaken yet another busy transfer window.

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It is one that has very much underlined the club's upwards trajectory with one eye firmly on the future as players who will remain at the Stadium of Light for the long run and hopefully harvest significant resale value have all been snapped up.

Indeed, Sunderland had the youngest squad in the Championship last time out and that looks set to continue this time around too with the signings of Jobe Bellingham, Nectarios Triantis, Luis Hemir, Jenson Seelt, Eliezer Mayenda and Nathan Bishop.

With former-Blackburn Rovers star Bradley Dack representing a more-experienced option among them, the average age of all of Sunderland's summer recruits is still just 21.1, speaking volumes of the Mackem's forward-thinking philosophy.

That said, though, there is an overarching school of thought that there is one area of the pitch that has not been addressed enough.

Sunderland's striker problems

Of course, fans have been crying out for an experienced striker to lead the line for much of the summer.

Hemir and Mayenda are frontmen, but aged just 20 and 19 respectively, they will no doubt require time to acclimatize before they are capable of handling the burden that comes with being a regular striker at Championship level.

And Mayenda himself is injured alongside star striker Ross Stewart, the latter of whom currently faces a rather uncertain future at the Stadium of Light.

As such, Sunderland find themselves solely dependent on Hemir as things stand, and boss Tony Mowbray has gone on record to explain that while the club are hoping to land a striker, he cited the difficulties of domestic recruitment in what is an inflated market

What has Tony Mowbray said about Sunderland's striker search?

Speaking to ChronicleLive, Mowbray explained: "I think the club would ideally prefer to bring their own players in and maybe you've seen the French market is one they know and have looked at,"

"It is very difficult to find an English striker who you are going to get (without a huge fee).

"I don't know the numbers involved but we all saw that it was mooted that with add-ons, Ellis Simms could cost (Coventry City) £8m. "We all loved Ellis to bits here, he worked his socks off for us and scored seven really good, important goals, but I think that shows the challenges.

"Would we pay that money for him? I think it's a very difficult conundrum in terms of where you go to find value for money.

"Maybe the market is abroad, and maybe it is young players who you think have the potential to do it. Is the (domestic) market skewing a bit?

"If we have £115m footballers right at the top, is that skewing everything below that in terms of how much is somebody worth these days? Maybe.

"And yet we're not out there spending, never mind tens or twenties or thirties (of millions), we're not spending fives."

Mowbray also alluded to Sunderland's strategy of buying young players and developing them to generate a monumental profit in years to come.

"I understand the bigger picture," continued Mowbray.

"The bigger picture is the club picture of ideally signing your own players, not loaning them in and polishing them up for some other club to make a profit on them.

"If you sign your own players and get to work on them, hopefully they score 20-odd goals this season, 30 goals next season, and then you can sell them for £40m- or maybe in the modern market £80m- and reinvest back into the team and see where we can get to."

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