Sunderland should pick Ipswich man as Pickford replacement

Ipswich Town's Bartosz Bialkowski (L) saves from Derby County's Nick Blackman

Jordan Pickford raised eyebrows as he left Sunderland this summer; who will the Black Cats now turn to stop the goals going in?

Ipswich Town's Bartosz Bialkowski (L) saves from Derby County's Nick BlackmanIpswich Town's Bartosz Bialkowski (L) saves from Derby County's Nick Blackman

The Sunderland Echo has been looking at who is most likely to be a target for Sunderland's new goalkeeper now that Jordan Pickford has left for Merseyside. 

High on the target list is Ipswich Town's Bartosz Bialkowski, 29, who was named supporters' player of the year for the last two seasons, as reported by the East Anglian Daily Times. Playing in front of a crowd of just over 15,000 most weeks has perhaps not made Bialkowski a name that has been highlighted to often, but he has the confidence of a keeper that does not concede very often.

Ipswich manager Mick McCarthyIpswich manager Mick McCarthy knows that scouts are already watching his keeper

The Polish stopper has been a clear number one at Portman Road and McCarthy knows he'll have a fight on to keep hold of him this summer. When the BBC asked Ipswich's manager if he expected bids for his keeper this summer he replied: "Every chance. I've already bigged him up as the best in the league." 

The stats seem to back Mick McCarthy up as well. Bialkowski made 127 in his 44 games for the Tractor Boys last season including two spot kick saves.

What makes Bialkowski such a good prospect for the Black Cats though is his positive thinking, as highlighted in a recent interview he did with the East Anglican Daily Times. There has not been much positivity around the Stadium of Light and they need players who are not going to be afraid of battling in the Championship and who are used to being in tough fixtures.

Sunderland's Stadium of LightSunderland's Stadium of Light would be a venue worthy of Bialkowski's saves

If Sunderland can become harder to beat they can build a platform to be one of the sides that could challenge for honours next season, but their keeper choice will be a huge indication of how realistic that prospect is going to be.

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch