In the summer Sunderland needed to address their goalkeeper situation. The likes of Lee Camp, Jason Steele and Robin Ruiter all failed to impress in the club’s relegation season.
Sunderland fans, however, might have raised an eyebrow when Jack Ross secured the signature of Jon McLaughlin.
The Scottish stopper arrived from Hearts after his contract in Edinburgh had come to an end.
He was not, perhaps, the big name that Sunderland fans might have expected. But speaking to the Sunderland website, Ross made it clear they had snapped up a gem.
“I think there was some issues in that position last year, and obviously Jason’s departure meant it became even more of a priority for us to get someone in.
“Although he was in Scotland last season, Jon’s spent the rest of his career playing in England for successful teams in this league.
“He’s got better with age, but he’s still only 30 which is young for a goalkeeper.”
It would be hard to find a Sunderland fan who disagrees with that assessment now.
McLaughlin has been in sensational form for the Black Cats this season. He has saved countless points for the Wearsiders. At the weekend, against Oxford United, that was again the case.
Without the 31-year-old Sunderland might not be sitting in fourth place in League One right now. If Sunderland manage to win promotion back to the Championship, this bargain arrival would have played a major role.