Sunderland transfer news: Hume injury forces January rethink

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The inconsistency to have plagued Sunderland since their relegation to League One has also been a major problem in the embryonic stages of the Lee Johnson era. 

While the coronavirus-related postponements are clearly a mitigating factor, it's now two losses, three draws and four wins under his watch following the defeat at home to Plymouth earlier this week. 

In order to address that, the Sunderland Echo claim the Black Cats boss is chasing two signings. 

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Indeed, while the introduction of more pace has been something Johnson has frequently discussed since arriving on Wearside, he also reportedly wants a new left-back. 

Though strengthening that particular berth wasn't believed to have been the initial plan, the injury to Denver Hume has seemingly forced his hand. 

However, even if a takeover does eventually go through this month, it's thought to be unlikely to change much in the way of getting incomings over the line, with only loan deals expected. 

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Using WhoScored data, it's clear to see the injured Hume is a major part of Sunderland's attack. 

In fact, no player at the club averages as many key passes per game (1.8) than the stricken 24-year-old, while no regular starter makes as many dribbles over the same period (1.1). 

Though Callum McFadzean is able to cover, the 27-year-old simply cannot match his teammate's offensive input, registering only 0.4 key passes and 0.1 dribbles per game, with the obvious caveat that he has played significantly fewer times. 

Outside of those two, the Sunderland Echo also note Johnson is wary of putting a right-footer in that position to keep the side as balanced as possible. 

So, with the Black Cats already struggling for goals (they are 15th lowest scorers in the division) a new signing to help replace Hume must be made a priority. 

Should Sunderland harbour any realistic hopes of improving in the second-half of the campaign, getting a new left-back in is surely of the utmost importance. 

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