Sunderland Player Recruitment Underway

Alim Ozturk
SUNDERLAND, ENGLAND - JUNE 21: Sunderland new signing Alim Ozturk pictured at The Academy of Light on June 21, 2018 in Sunderland, England. (Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images)

Sunderland signed their first player on Thursday to get their recruitment underway. Defender Alim Ozturk will officially become a Sunderland player on July 1st when his current contract comes to an end.

With many players wanting to leave or being surplus to requirements, the Black Cats will need to sign many players over the coming weeks. A very busy summer certainly is ahead. New manager Jack Ross, along with the new owners, will be working hard to build a new squad capable of getting promotion at the first attempt. Here is a look at Sunderland’s new signing and the players reportedly on Jack Ross’s radar.

Sunderland Recruitment Underway

Alim Ozturk – Signed

Ozturk is a central defender who likes to play the ball on the ground from the back and is also known to have a fierce long-range shot in his arsenal. The Turkish youth international has signed a two-year deal on Wearside.

Lately, he has been playing Turkish football with Boluspur; however, before this, he played north of the border for Hearts and is well known to new Sunderland manager Jack Ross: “He is someone who I know – I worked with him a few years ago at Hearts. He is a player who is yet to reach his full potential, but this opportunity here gives him the chance to do that.”

Dylan McGeouch – In Talks

With several midfielders expected to leave in the near future, this is an area which could need extensive rebuilding.

Former Celtic midfielder McGeouch has reportedly visited Sunderland and has held talks over a potential move. His contract with Hibernian is about to expire and he would, therefore, be available on a free transfer.

He has been a stand out performer of late in Scotland and the Black Cats will need to move fast to capture his signature with several other clubs also interested.

Three Defenders on the Radar

Manchester United defender Cameron Borthwick-Jackson is available on a season-long loan deal and is believed to be interesting boss Jack Ross. The left-back has recently had loan spells at Wolves and Leeds United.

Peterborough defender Jack Baldwin is also a target according to new owner Stewart Donald. The Posh’s captain is available for £250,000 after being placed on the transfer list. He knows League One well and is also well acquainted with the North East of England having previously played for Hartlepool United.

Another out of contract player interesting Sunderland is Blackpool’s Clark Robertson. The defender is out of contract at the end of the month. Blackpool boss Gary Bowyer is hopeful the player will stay but with Sunderland and others interested it could prove difficult to keep the in-form defender.

Two Forwards on the Way In?

Stewart Donald has also confirmed that the club are close to signing two new forwards. No names have been confirmed but if early indications are to believed, then the two are AFC Wimbledon’s Lyle Taylor and former St Mirren striker Gavin Reilly.

Taylor knows the lower leagues well and has been a regular scorer. He joined AFC Wimbledon in 2015 and in 131 appearances has scored 44 goals. Reilly has just departed newly promoted St Mirren having scored 22 goals last season to help the club win promotion. He was also named in the Scottish Championship Team of the Year. Jack Ross knows Reilly very well having been his manager until he departed for Sunderland.

The Last Word

Even with one in and several on the way, there is still plenty to be done. However, it is a start, and hopefully the start of many new players arriving as far as fans are concerned. After several years of poor performances, the squad needed an overhaul and a new lease of life. Sadly it has taken two relegations for this to happen. Expect many comings and goings on Wearside in the coming weeks.

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