Even in the absence of knowledge regarding their next manager, Sunderland and sporting director Kristjaan Speakman seem to be gearing up for summer plans, with Wigan Athletic goalkeeper Sam Tickle already being considered as a potential target.

With the impending managerial appointment, it’s shaping up to be a pivotal summer at the Stadium of Light. The Sunderland owners and hierarchy face the task of rebuilding trust among fans following a tumultuous 2023/24 season. Despite the challenges, Mike Dodds and his team are concluding the season on a positive note, set to host Millwall on Saturday. A victory could propel them into the top half of the table. One individual who might be keeping an eye on Sunderland’s result this weekend is Josh Murphy.


Cardiff City v Norwich City - Sky Bet Championship

Josh Murphy, who is the twin brother of Newcastle United player Jacob Murphy, commenced his professional career with Norwich City.

The 29-year-old accumulated a total of 100 appearances for Norwich City and had loan spells with clubs such as Wigan Athletic and MK Dons before making a move to Cardiff City in 2018. During his time at Cardiff, he made an additional 99 appearances before joining Oxford United ahead of last season.

However, it’s this current season, or more precisely, this year, where the winger has truly hit his stride. He has netted six goals and provided four assists in 26 League One appearances this season, with four of those goals coming since the beginning of March.

Recent reports have suggested that Sunderland is among the clubs interested in acquiring Murphy’s services. Oxford United boss Des Buckingham has lauded Murphy as a ‘wonderful’ player, further fueling interest in him from potential suitors.



Bristol City v Oxford United - Carabao Cup First Round

Josh Murphy current contract and wages at Oxford United

Murphy’s contract with Oxford United is set to expire in the summer. Despite their recent 1-0 loss to Lincoln City, the U’s are in contention for the 6th place spot in League One, currently occupying that position.

According to SalarySport, Murphy ranks as the fifth-highest earner at the Kassam Stadium, earning £5,100 per week. However, this wage places him considerably lower in the salary hierarchy at Sunderland, even below players like Eliezer Mayenda, who earns £5,300 per week, according to the same source.

Josh Murphy profile

Josh Murphy in full
29 years old
1.73 m (5ft 8in) in height

English nationality
Birthdate: February 24, 1995
Birthplace: Wembley, England
Role: Left winger
Organization: Oxford United

Josh Murphy to Sunderland analysis

The first notable aspect is Murphy’s age; at 29, he appears to fall outside the typical age range of players Sunderland usually target. However, the club did make signings like Bradley Dack last summer, indicating a willingness to prioritize experience over youth at times, which could prompt Speakman and Sunderland to consider players like Murphy this season.

Additionally, the left-wing position might require strengthening with quality, especially if Jack Clarke is expected to depart. Murphy boasts significant experience in the Football League, making him a familiar and proven name.

However, at first glance, signing Murphy might seem somewhat underwhelming for Sunderland. He failed to score any goals in League One last season, and while he’s recently found form, doubts may linger regarding his ability to transition to the Championship and contribute effectively for Sunderland next season.

Nevertheless, on a free transfer, Murphy could serve as a valuable addition to bolster Sunderland’s squad, offering both experience and depth—two areas they desperately need to address in the upcoming summer transfer window. In this regard, securing Murphy on a free transfer could prove beneficial.

Overall, while Murphy’s signing may not immediately scream top quality for Sunderland, it could still provide a pragmatic solution as they prepare to face Millwall this weekend.

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