It was always going to be a tough ask to go to Manchester City on Boxing Day, but the manner in which Sunderland slumped to a 4-1 defeat will have left manager Sam Allardyce in no doubt as to which area of his team requires urgent reinforcements this January.
Barring a win or draw against Liverpool, Sunderland’s December will have been literally pointless and the threat of relegation into the Championship is growing ever larger.
Wins to nil over Crystal Palace and Stoke pointed to a turnaround under the former Bolton boss, but the Black Cats now sit seven points adrift of safety and unfortunate owners of the Premier League’s worst defensive record.
The Wearsiders are conceding an average of over two goals a game – 11 in their last four – and Big Sam has made it clear in recent weeks he is actively seeking defensive options to aid Sunderland’s relegation battle.
With Younes Kaboul still out for several weeks, Allardyce could turn to Germany and Bayern Munich to fill the void.
Jan Kirchhoff has endured a difficult spell at the Allianz Arena, and is yet to make an appearance for the first team this term.
Just seven games sat on the bench has left the former Germany U21 international seeking opportunities elsewhere, and with his contract ending in the summer, Bayern seem happy to part company with the 25-year-old.
At 6ft 5in Kirchhoff would certainly bring an imposing presence to the Sunderland defence, and the lure of first team football will surely appeal, even if at the wrong end of the table.
Sunderland are 1/9 to be relegated in May, and bring an end to their current nine-season stint in the top tier.
If Allardyce is to work his magic, he will need players like Kirchhoff to put things right at the back.
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