Former Sunderland striker Kevin Phillips has said that the club must make it their ‘priority’ to bring in a new keeper after Jon McLaughlin left for Rangers.
With the 2019/20 season done and dusted for the Black Cats, focus will now turn to the summer transfer window where boss Phil Parkinson will be looking to build a squad that he hopes will be capable of gaining promotion back to the Championship.
One of the first moves Parkinson will need to make is replacing former number one goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin, who signed for Scottish Premiership side Rangers last week on a free transfer.
McLaughlin made 32 appearances in League One during the 2019/20 season for the Wearsiders, securing 11 clean sheets in the process.
Phillips, who often speaks about matters relating to Sunderland for Football Insider, has now addressed what he believes to be a ‘priority’ for Parkinson to find a suitable replacement for McLaughlin, saying:
“When you lose your number one goalkeeper and the number two is not capable of stepping up you need to get someone in as soon as possible.
“Possibly an experienced goalkeeper on loan for a season.
‘The quicker they can get him in the quicker they can build relationships with the defence and his teammates.
“That position will be a priority I am sure.”
Failure to bring in a suitable replacement would see Parkinson turn to 27-year-old Lee Burge, who has found playing time hard to come by of late at the Stadium of Light.
Phillips does have a point. The fact that Sunderland allowed McLaughlin to freely walk out of the club and sign for Rangers is a strange one but seemingly there was little they could do to stop it from happening.
Burge now waits in the wings for the Black Cats and, at 27, he would expect to be given a chance, but Parkinson could look to upgrade his goalkeeping options over the summer months.
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