kWhat does Sunderlan’s goalkeeper revamp mean for Mika?

Vito Mannone.
Vito Mannone.

Vito Mannone’s departure has left Sunderland worryingly light in the goalkeeper department, but Simon Grayson has moved quickly to bring in former Utrecht keeper Robbin Ruiter on trial.

With Leeds United’s Rob Green also on his radar, the Black Cats boss looks to be in the market for two new stoppers.

For a club looking to cut costs, carrying four goalkeepers on their books seems unlikely.

So who might move on?

Grayson has been impressed by Max Stryjek, the 21-year-old given the opportunity to step into Mannone’s shoes at Hartlepool United on Tuesday night.

Sunderland could look to find a loan for Stryjek or alternatively, seek to move Mika on.

Should that happen, it would bring down the curtain on one of the strangest Wearside careers in recent memory. Signing a goalkeeper was an obvious priority last August after Vito Mannone suffered an elbow injury.

Though most had seen his talent and had little doubt of his capabilities, Jordan Pickford was still something of an unproven quantity at Premier League level.

What did suprise was that rather than secure a loan, the Black Cats committed to a permanent deal for Mika, signing a two-year deal that expires next summer.

That raised suggestions that the 26-year-old would challenge for the number one jersey, particularly given his experience in the Portugese top tier.

At the time of Sunderland’s move, he had made a flying start to the season with Boavista.

Moyes quickly made clear, however, that Pickford would keep the jersey and that was clearly the right call.

What did surprise is that Checkatrade trophy aside, Mika was not even given a chance in cup games.

Moyes seemed unimpressed, and it would appear that has not changed under the new management.

His only notable pre-season contribution so far has been a bad error to allow Hibernian to score their first goal.

One year on, we still know little about Mika, yet to make a competitive appearance.

Mika is far from Sunderland’s most expensive mistake. His odd time on Wearside, however, does rather reflect how muddled and last minute Sunderland’s transfer business was for so long.