Speakman and Mowbray

Analysing the 21 permanent outgoing deals during Kristjaan Speakman's Sunderland tenure - photo gallery

Kristjaan Speakman was appointed sporting director at Sunderland in December 2020 and has since sanctioned a number of outgoings during his tenure.

In his nearly two years at the Academy of Light, the former Birmingham City man has overseen a radical overhaul of the club’s playing squad with the Wearsiders focusing on their academy, and buying young players to be nurtured and blooded in the first team.

It is a strategy that has produced results, with Speakman providing a squad that Alex Neil managed to brilliantly turn into promotion winners following Lee Johnson’s under-achievement.

However, with any recruitment strategy, there are pros and cons.

Indeed, Speakman has been criticised in some quarters for not providing Sunderland with enough depth, as evidenced by the injuries to Ross Stewart and Ellis Simms, leaving Tony Mowbray without any senior strikers.

Factors such as contract decisions, outgoing transfers, loans, managerial change, staffing structures, youth players, scouting, squad depth and the state of the Academy of Light all determine how Speakman and his team are judged.

Here, we take a look at the 20 outgoing permanent departures sanctioned by Speakman since his arrival at the club – and attempt to analyse whether or not each case was the right decision.

Note that the list includes some who wanted to leave Sunderland alongside retirees and players whose contracts expired. The list does not include loan departures like Jack Diamond and Ellis Taylor, who are still at the club, or loanees who have returned to their parent clubs such as Frederik Alves and Callum Doyle.

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