New-boy Adam Matthews Should Shine At Sunderland


Sunderland have completed the signing of full-back Adam Matthews from Celtic.

The Welshman only had a year left to run on his ‘Hoops’ deal and that meant he could join the ‘Black Cats’ for a cut price fee of £2m.

Former Rangers manager Dick Advocaat (now the Sunderland boss) has obviously kept an eye on the Scottish game. The Dutchman has also been linked with a move for Celtic’s Virgil van Dijk, although the centre-back would cost considerably more than the £2m that the Sunderland manager has just paid for the right-back.

Matthews could prove to be a shrewd buy for the Wearside club.

The Welsh international had a fine time of it in Glasgow and seemed to improve every year he was there. During his four year stint at Celtic Park the young defender made over thirty appearances a season (150 in total). Last term Celtic boss Ronny Deila used him forty-two times.

Matthews also impressed whenever he played in any European encounter with the Glasgow giants, he represented the Hoops thirty times in European competition.

The defender also leaves Scotland a champion. In fact he won four league championships at Celtic and his new gaffer will be hoping that he can bring that winning mentality to Sunderland.

The right-back likes to bomb forward and links up well with wingers that play in front of him. He can also provide dangerous crosses that would be inviting for his attacking teammates.

Advocaat has already warned the twenty-three year old that he needs to work on his defensive game. After Matthews signed on at the Stadium of light he stated:

“I like to attack but the manager has already told me I need to work on my defending so I’ll try my best to do that.”

Now while Dick Advocaat is right that Matthews likes to get forward, he isn’t exactly sloppy in defence. He can actually be pretty solid at the back.

But I know from his time at Rangers that Advocaat can be a bit of a disciplinarian when it comes to working back and sticking to a position. But in fairness to him, he managed Arthur Numan who was a top full-back, who’d do both duties with distinction.

Adam Matthews should look at Everton’s Seamus Coleman as an example to follow in the English Premier League. The Irish right-back can often get the balance between defending and attacking down to a fine art.

Many times during the last campaign Sunderland looked woeful at the back, with ageing defenders often displaying lacklustre performances.

With Matthews they should see more energy on the right-side and some fairly reliable outings too. That should provide the Black Cat’s support with a bit more enthusiasm when they watch their team next season.

Adam can also be extremely versatile, which is always seen as a bonus these days. As well as playing in his favoured right-back spot, Matthews can also fill in at left-back and be pushed further forward on the right wing.

The defender should also join Sunderland with a real appetite to prove himself and also show a willingness to improve as a player. He has continually showed both at Cardiff City and Celtic that he can learn and develop as a player. Previous managers have also been extremely complimentary about his attitude and work ethic.

Wales could be heading for next summer’s Euro 2016 tournament in France. With that in mind Adam needs to break back into Chris Coleman’s squad.

What better way for him to do that than by showing off his talents in the English Premier League and doing it on a regular basis.

It may take Adam Matthews a few games or a month to get used to the rigours of playing in England’s top flight but as long as Dick Advocaat keeps faith in him, I really think that Matthews could become one of Sunderland’s more reliable defenders who might take a few by surprise next term!

3 Responses to “New-boy Adam Matthews Should Shine At Sunderland”

  1. Not too sure Scott which Adam Matthews you’ve been watching recently. Seriously went off the boil at Celtic. Slack passer , woeful first touch and went backwards with his passing more than forwards. Decent business for Sunderland if he can rediscover the form of his first couple of years at Celtic. Suspect Celtic will be happy with the fee and also the fact they have an infinitely better right back in Lustig.

  2. Mr 97 – I have always thought Lustig and Matthews as much of the same. Plus bringing in Janko will help Celtic. I don’t think they’ll be crying over Matthews departing.

    But I recall quite a few decent crosses when he went forward, against Inter springs to mind. Maybe I am more optimistic or maybe I just didn’t notice the same failings you did. As can happen in football.

  3. Easy to scoff when players leave, makes you less hurt

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