Vito Mannone’s departure yesterday to Reading has left us painfully short in the goalkeeping department. Who could we, realistically, replace him with?
Robert Green – Leeds United
Sunderland have been loosely linked with Robert Green for a number of weeks now, with the gossip cranking up a notch recently when Leeds pulled off the signing of Werder Bremen ‘keeper Felix Wiedwald.
Whilst Green tends to be seen as a comedy figure – largely due to some high-profile gaffs when playing for England – he’s actually quite an experienced and reliable stopper.
The ex-QPR man enjoyed a good season at Elland Road last year, keeping fifteen clean sheets and making 104 saves over the course of the season. Green and Leeds were unlucky to miss out on the play-offs, despite performing above expectations in an impressive campaign.
He’s no spring chicken at 37-years of age, meaning it’s likely that he’s available for a nominal fee. Much like when Darren Ward was our number one in our last Championship season, the experience that the former England international would bring to a young, ambitious Sunderland side could be crucial.
Darren Randolph – West Ham United
Rumours of a £3.5m move for Republic of Ireland international Darren Randolph were rife as recently as Tuesday night.
West Ham’s move for England number one Joe Hart on a season-long loan deal earlier this week has left Randolph with an important decision to make regarding his future – and he is a man in demand.
Randolph is well liked at his current club and played in over half of their games at the London Stadium, seen as a steady – yet unspectacular – pair of hands.
Whilst £3.5m doesn’t seem like a particularly large fee, we’re operating on a tight budget this summer and it’s entirely likely that we could well be priced out of a move.
With as many as six clubs interested in the services of the former Birmingham City man, it’s likely that we’d have to offer some serious dough in order to bring him North.
Although Randolph would appear to be an ideal replacement for the outgoing Mannone, it’s more than likely that he’s slightly out of our price range.
Cedric Carrasso – Free agent
Former Bordeaux and Crystal Palace goalkeeper Cedric Carrasso may not be a name familiar with the majority of Sunderland supporters but, with the stopper now a free agent, it’s entirely likely that a move to Wearside could be on the cards.
The one-time France international – who also played for Marseille and Toulouse earlier in his career – was actually linked to us as far back as last September, when we were in the market for an emergency replacement to then back-up Jordan Pickford.
Speaking around that time about the possibility of moving to Sunderland, Carrasso said:
Sunderland made me an offer, but it wasn’t the right time.
He was again linked in May when French sport channel ‘Le 10 Sport’ claimed we had made contact with the player, sounding out the 6”1 veteran as a replacement for Jordan Pickford upon his move to Everton – though with nothing mentioned since, it’s more than likely that it was just a lazy link based on our previous interest in the player.
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Anders Lindegaard – Free agent
Perhaps an obvious choice as a replacement for Mannone would be former Manchester United goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard, a player who is not only a free agent but someone that has played previously for Simon Grayson when at Preston.
Brought to Deepdale on loan by our new manager in January 2016, the Danish stopper enjoyed a successful period between the sticks for the Lilywhites, carrying on the good work already set down by our very own Jordan Pickford in the first half of the season.
With Sam Allardyce recalling Pickford back to Wearside, thus ending his successful loan-spell early, a move was made by Grayson to bring Lindegaard to his club on loan for the remainder of the season.
Upon the completion of the season the Dane was offered a permanent deal but he featured less heavily, making just seven appearances before finding himself without a club at the end of their last campaign.
Previous experience with our manager? – Check. Free? – Check. Former Manchester United player? – Check. Don’t be surprised if this actually happens.
Alex McCarthy – Southampton
Now for someone that hasn’t been linked to the club in any way shape size or form – Former England squad member and Southampton’s third choice ‘keeper, Alex McCarthy.
Having played at every youth level for his country, he was an inclusion in Sam Allardyce’s first – and only – England squad for the win against Slovakia last year.
Highly rated during his years at Reading, the 27-year-old has struggled of late. Failing to win the number one jersey at various different Premier League clubs, his career has hit a stumbling block and, with his prime years ahead of him, you’d expect that he’ll be keen to find a club where he can solidify his place as a regular starter.