BBC pundit pinpoints the area Sunderland need to strengthen in January

Sunderland are in danger of getting relegated from the Premier League at the end of the season.

Former Liverpool defender Mark Lawrenson has told BBC Sport that Sunderland need to sign a central defender in the January transfer window.

“They (Sunderland) need a domineering central defender as a starting position to build a team around that,” said Lawrenson. “Wes Brown and John O'Shea might have been that player in the past, but neither are now."

Sunderland are second from bottom in the Premier League table at the moment with just 12 points from 19 matches.

Sam Allardyce’s side are as many as seven points behind 17th-placed Swansea City, and things are looking dire for them.

The Black Cats need to start winning games, but the key to that is defensively stability. Sunderland have been defensively poor all season, and perhaps Allardyce could do with signing a centre-back in the January transfer window.

The likes of Wes Brown, Younes Kaboul and John O’Shea are struggling at the moment. The problem is whether the Premier League outfit will be able to get a central defender good enough to help the team stay up in the Premier League.

Sunderland are set to sign Lamine Kone from Lorient this month, as reported by BBC Sport, but will the 27-year-old centre-back make an instant impact in the Premier League?

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