Sunderland have missed out on the ‘outstanding’ Scott Tanser with the St Johnstone left-back deciding to stay in Scotland with St Mirren instead, as reported by the Buddies’ official website.
It is almost a month since the Black Cats suffered play-off heartbreak yet again – losing to Lincoln City over two legs – and the Lee Johnson-led rebuild is not exactly going to plan.
Seven first-team players have already left the Stadium of Light on free transfers, while Luke O’Nien, academy graduate Denver Hume and talismanic top scorer Charlie Wyke could also be saying their goodbyes on July 1.
While Wyke feels almost irreplaceable – the first player to break the 30-goal barrier in Sunderland colours since the legendary Kevin Phillips in the late-1990s – Hume will also be a difficult man to move on from.
The Ashington-born speed-machine looked to have solved Sunderland’s left-back problems, but his potential exit would thrust the Wearside giants all the way back to square one.
How can Sunderland replace Denver Hume?
What’s more, Scott Tanser, a man Sunderland had identified as competition for Hume on the left-hand side (Echo), is no longer on the market, having signed an initial one-year contract with St Mirren.
“Scott Tanser is one who knows the league and has been outstanding at left-wing back for St. Johnstone this season. He’s a very good athlete, great delivery, he was instrumental in some of the really good performances that St. Johnstone had,” manager Jim Goodwin said after Tanser played a key role in winning two domestic trophies in 2020/21.
“I’m delighted that today he has agreed to come in.
“He’s a great athlete, great energy up and down the left-hand side of the park and will not only do well in the defensive areas, but very creative up the top end as well with some of his deliveries that he puts in the box.”
As it stands, it seems that Sunderland are prioritising young, up-and-coming prospects who look set to drop down from the Premier League as Johnson looks to build a squad with plenty of hunger and potential.