Sunderland have secured their spot in the League One play-off final at Wembley against Wycombe Wanderers, but even with Championship football within touching distance, it hasn’t stopped the transfer rumour mill from turning as new interest emerges for one Black Cats player.
What’s the latest?
According to BBC South TV and radio sports reporter Andrew Moon, Portsmouth are monitoring the situation at the Stadium of Light regarding Lynden Gooch, who is out of contract this summer.
Moon tweeted: “I’m told that out of contract #SAFC winger Lynden Gooch is a player that would interest #Pompey should he become available.”
Alex Neil’s first disaster at Sunderland
Losing a player like Gooch next season would be a huge disaster for Sunderland, whether they win promotion to the Championship or are consigned to another season in League One.
They have until 25 May to make a decision on whether or not they would like to extend the 26-year old’s contract ahead of next season or make him available for other clubs to snap up on a free transfer. With nothing currently finalised for the player, they could be set to lose him this summer.
Should Sunderland give Gooch a new contract?
The American has been a key player for Alex Neil and the Black Cats in their pursuit of promotion and was involved in the starting line-up for both legs of their play-off semi-final, which shows that the manager clearly values his presence in the middle of the park. When you consider his season statistics, it is no wonder Neil is a fan of the 26-year-old.
As per Sofascore, Gooch has contributed six assists, created nine big chances and made 1.4 key passes, 1.4 tackles and 1.2 clearances on average per game in his 40 league appearances this season. Therefore, he would be a big loss in the middle of the pitch if he is let go by the club in the next few weeks.
Due to his outstanding contribution in midfield, the player has been the recipient of high praise with Sunderland podcaster Micky Lough.
Speaking on the Wise Men Say podcast, he said of Gooch: “He’s shown quality throughout last season. He really likes to get the ball and run at defenders and make things happen. So, I think he’s got that bit of ‘X factor’ that a lot of teams in this league don’t have.”
Sunderland and Neil must do everything they can to keep hold of Gooch this summer and find a solution in order to secure his future at the Stadium of Light. They must act fast as other clubs are clearly taking interest in the midfielder already and could potentially turn his head with the right offer.
AND in other news: Sunderland handed big injury lift ahead of play-off final that’ll delight Neil