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Stop Press: Jon McLaughlin, the goalkeeper mentioned favourably by Jeremy Robson in his comment below, is reported in Scotland to be due to undergo a medical at SAFC with a view to signing as a free agent. He left Hearts at the end of the season, is 30 and has a full Scottish international cap. Chris Maguire, a striker who has never been hugely prolific but is highly experienced and has also played for Scotland, is also said to be on the point of signing …

The original Salut! Sunderland poll on prospects for next season has probably run its course. It is at the foot of this posting so you can still vote but Monsieur Salut will close it tomorrow (Monday).

Our associate editor John McCormick, in his first piece of statistical analysis on what may transpire in League One, introduced a variation – “who will go up?” as opposed to “will Sunderland?” – and that will take the place of the version relating solely to SAFC.

As I write, more than 81 per cent of votes cast in the original poll have opted for immediate promotion, with nearly 42 per cent confident we’ll return to the Championship as champions. Just under 40 per cent see automatic promotion short of winning the title and only about 18 per cent, asked if going straight back up will happen, fear the worst – either “afraid not” or “more likely to be fighting another drop”.

The four “other answers” – one vote each – are:

  • No idea, ask me again in late July
  • Too early to call
  • Playoff contender
  • I’m shellshocked so hope is in short supply but maybe we can go up

But the votes have been cast over a long period and even now amount to fewer than 700. Opinions will have changed since the poll was first offered in mid-May.

We’ve hardly – yet – set the world alight with transfer business. Last week started with the owner Stewart Donald saying up to five players were likely to leave and as many to arrive in the seven days to come.

It didn’t quite happen.

We got rid of Jason Steele, astonishingly if impressively offloading him to a Premier League club (Brighton), and acquired Alim Öztürk on a free from the Turkish club Boluspor.

But there’s no need to panic. More signings will follow and we will surely be able to replenish resources by exploiting the World Cup presence of Oviedo and Khazri, marketable players who – almost certainly – will never again wear our red and white stripes.

Listen to our contributor Jeremy Robson of what we have already done and what we may do:

As some readers of Salut will know, my ‘other club’ is Hearts. It wouldn’t be overstating the case that signing Alim Ozturk is the best bit of business that SAFC could do this close season, or many an other close season for that matter.

Alim is a giant of a defender who never gives less than 100% every game. Strong in the air and tackles well,His weakest attribute is his passing. He was a hugely popular player during his time at Tynecastle and he will be a hit with our supporters at the SoL. He has an absolute bozooka of a right foot and will get a few goals as well. I’m as delighted we have signed him as I was gutted when he left Hearts. We’ve signed a natural leader and captain here. Welcome to Sunderland, Alim!

According to the Chronicle Jon McLaughlin is about to sign for Sunderland. Most of our fans may not know very much about him either but if believe me nobody will be disappointed in either of these lads. JM is a solid and consistent goalkeeper. Its been a while since we had one. This is as good a start as Jack could make. Great stuff!

Jeremy is a hard man to please. The Donald/Methven/Ross revolution may still be on the right track …

And here is that last chance to vote in the orignal poll …

 

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Salut! Sunderland is written, illustrated and edited by - and principally for - supporters of Sunderland AFC. The site aims to be sufficiently literate and entertaining to appeal to people who do not follow SAFC but enjoy good football writing.

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