Younes Kaboul’s start to the season has been nothing short of a disaster and Keown was less than complimentary about the former Spurs man.
“With Younes Kaboul, I’m not sure he was what they needed. He has always been very quick and powerful but there is still defensive work to be done, even though he is a senior player now,” he wrote.
“And Sunderland really need to improve that defence but whether Kaboul was the right man for the job, I’m not so sure.”
On the attacking front Keown was more upbeat about the Black Cats’ prospects, adding:
“Fabio Borini seems to be a player who Sunderland are almost obsessed with taking. He’s been backwards and forwards and they have been trying to get him for long enough so I hope he’s a success.
“Ola Toivonen looks physically suited to the Premier League and Jeremain Lens is another who has worked with Dick Advocaat before, so you would like to think he knows how to get the best out of them.”
Jeremain Lens has been the pick of the bunch for Sunderland so far and fans will be excited to see how he progresses as he becomes more accustomed to the Premier League.
Borini, on the other hand, is something of an enigma and it remains to be seen whether he can reproduce the form shown during his first spell at the Stadium of Light.
Connor Wickham’s big-money switch to Crystal Palace was met with surprise in some quarters and Keown doesn’t feel his absence will be too sorely felt by Dick Advocaat.
“In terms of outgoings I don’t think Connor Wickham is too big a loss. The club had high hopes for him and though he is good in build-up play I don’t think he’s sharp enough in front of goal,” said Keown.
The Black Cats endured a nightmare start to the Premier League but have somewhat steadied the ship in their last two games.
As is the case in the Premier League, things rarely ease up and Sunderland have their work cut out next Saturday against a Spurs side desperate for their first win of the season.