By Kevin Phillips

15th Nov, 2021 | 10:13am

Phillips: Sunderland tipped to sign 'experienced' operator in January after Smith claim

Kevin Phillips has tipped Sunderland manager Lee Johnson to add experience to his squad in the January transfer window.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the Stadium of Light legend claimed a seasoned professional could help the Black Cats over the line in their quest for promotion this season.

The Sunderland Echo‘s Phil Smith has predicted the club to target a full-back and a centre-midfielder in January.

Smith claimed “there will be backing” from the board when the transfer window re-opens.

The Black Cats have predominantly signed young and upcoming players since Kyril Louis-Dreyfus took over.

However, Phillips expects a shift in approach in the new year.

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“It’s great having young players but when you get to that stage of the season players with experience can be more valuable,” he told Football Insider‘s Dylan Childs.

“I think Johnson will look to bring in a bit of experience in January.

“Hopefully they are still in and around the automatic promotion spots in the new year. If that’s the case a player with experience and knowledge of gaining promotion could be a big asset to them. He can help the youngsters get over the line.

“It would not surprise me if they are looking at experienced players.

“Don’t get me wrong, they have players in the squad like that already. The likes of Aiden McGeady, Bailey Wright and Alex Pritchard. Maybe one more of that ilk could really help them.”

In other news, Phillips is ‘worried’ by what he’s heard at Sunderland about Ross Stewart’s injury