Sunderland's five-point plan for the January transfer window

Chris Coleman manager of Sunderland during the Sky Bet Championship match between Sunderland and Reading at Stadium of Light on December 2, 2017 in Sunderland, England.

Sunderland will surely be looking to bolster their options during the January transfer window.

Wales' manager Chris Coleman follows the game from the touchline during the FIFA World Cup 2018 qualification football match between Georgia and Wales in Tbilisi on October 6, 2017.

Chris Coleman has his work cut-out, if he is to guide his side to safety in the Championship this season.

The Black Cats have made huge strides since the Welshman took over as manager at the Stadium of Light last month, but he still has a massively unbalanced squad at his disposal - something that he will surely be looking to address next month.

With that in mind, here is a five-point plan for Sunderland's January transfer window...

1. Raise funds by selling valuable assets who want to leave

Didier Ndong of Sunderland and Callum Reilly of Bury in action during the Carabao Cup First Round match between Bury and Sunderland at Gigg Lane on August 10, 2017 in Bury, England.

It is common knowledge that the Wearside outfit are far from flush with cash, so Coleman will have to be thrifty in his player recruitment next month.

The ideal way to negate this problem, however, will be to sell players who obviously do not want to be at the club anymore.

Two names in particular are Didier Ndong and Lamine Kone, both of whom would surely fetch rather substantial transfer fees.

2. Sign a striker with proven Championship pedigree

Benik Afobe of AFC Bournemouth applauds the fans after the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Brighton and Hove Albion at Vitality Stadium on September 15, 2017 in...

This is arguably Coleman's priority this summer, but it will of course depend on how much cash he can actually raise by selling players, as mentioned above.

A potential option for them could be a loan deal for Bournemouth ace Benik Afobe, whilst a move for Norwich City forward Steven Naismith could be another possibility.

3. Add a creative spark to midfield

Alex Pritchard of Norwich City (R) celebrates with Jonathan Howson (L) after David Stockdale of Brighton and Hove Albion (not pictured) scores his second own goal during the Sky Bet...

The Black Cats attacking play seems cumbersome at times, without any real guile or direction to the way they operate in the final third.

With this in mind, Coleman should consider bringing an intelligent, play-maker type midfielder to the Stadium of Light in January.

Someone in the mould of Norwich City's Alex Pritchard would fit the bill perfectly.

4. Sign a young, capable centre-back

Rob Holding of Arsenal celebrates after The Emirates FA Cup Final between Arsenal and Chelsea at Wembley Stadium on May 27, 2017 in London, England.

Sunderland's ageing back-line is in desperate need of an injection of youth.

With the Black Cats deeply entrenched in a relegation battle, though, any prospective signing absolutely must be able to cope with the rigours and the physicality of the Championship.

Arsenal's Rob Holding would be an ideal loan signing, what with the experience he garnered during his time with Bolton Wanderers.

5. Be brave enough to give youth a chance

Chris Coleman manager of Sunderland during the Sky Bet Championship match between Sunderland and Reading at Stadium of Light on December 2, 2017 in Sunderland, England.

This is easier said than done in England's second tier, especially when, like Sunderland, you are at the wrong end of the table.

It could prove to be a huge factor in their chances of success, however, what with the buzz of excitement that surrounds a young, home-grown talent being offered the chance to showcase his skills.

Whether Coleman is brave enough to give youth a chance though, remains to be seen.

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