Hit and Miss: Which Sunderland signings from previous transfer windows made the grade?

Stephane Sessegnon
Stephane Sessegnon
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IT has been a very quiet day at the Stadium of Light on the transfer front with Jermain Defoe’s signature captured nice and early by Sunderland

To fill the transfer deadline day void we have taken a look back at previous transfer windows to see which new signings were a hit and which were a miss at the Stadium of Light.

Danny Graham in action against Burnley. Picture by FRANK REID

Danny Graham in action against Burnley. Picture by FRANK REID

Jonny Evans:

In preparation for their return to the top flight, Roy Keane drummed up an impressive spending spree in the summer, recruiting a total of 13 players. Though, the former Manchester United man wasn’t finished there and was active again in the winter transfer window. Keane’s first recruitment of 2008 came in the form of Jonny Evans on loan from Manchester United.

Having been on loan the previous season, the young centre-back impressed in defence again and it was no surprise when he won Young Player of the Year for the second season running.

Evans would have been a warm welcome back on Wearside but wanted to push for a regular starting place at United and unsurprisingly later went on to cement a regular spot in the United eleven.

Verdict: HIT 7/10

Jean-Yves M’voto:

Jean-Yves M’voto from PSG was another defensive reinforcement brought in by Keane. However the Frenchman was one many of the Black Cats’ January signings that never worked out and failed to make a single appearance for the first team and spent the next two years out on loan.

Verdict: MISS 0/10

Phil Bardsley:

Phil Bardsley of Manchester United was drafted in on a permanent basis to also bolster the Black Cats’ defence. When he left for Stoke in the summer, Bardsley was the Black Cats longest serving player. The Scotland international was a much-loved figure on Wearside, however his career at Sunderland looked to be over when Paolo Di Canio took reign.

The Salford man then went from zero to hero with an impressive performance in Sunderland’s 2-1 Wear-Tyne derby win, then going on to score the only goal of the game in Sunderland’s win over Manchester City. Bardsley also proved pivotal in Sunderland’s road to Wembley, scoring in the first leg of the semi-final and scoring in extra-time in the second-leg to take the game to penalties.

Verdict: HIT 8/10

Rade Prica:

At the other end of the pitch Rade Prica was bought for a fee of £2m to improve attacking options. Though Prica scored on his debut, he was given limited options and left a year later with just six games under his belt.

Verdict: MISS 2/10

Andy Reid:

Andy Reid was Sunderland’s most expensive January buy of 2008 costing £4m from Charlton Athletic. Reid impressed on the left wing, assisting and scoring a handful of goals but fell out of favour under Steve Bruce.

Verdict: HIT 6/10

Tal Ben Haim:

Having already spent £40m previously and with Ricky Sbragia newly appointed as manager, it came as no surprise that January 2009 was a pretty quiet one.

Defender Tal Ben Haim was loaned from Manchester City. Ben Haim never looked like a permanent option and found it difficult to break into the side, making only five appearances.

Verdict: MISS 2/10

Calum Davenport:

Calum Davenport was another defender brought in by Sbragia. Davenport stated that he wished to make his move permanent, however after making eight appearances for the club, he returned to West Ham.

Verdict: MISS 3/10


The January transfer window of 2009/2010 was the job of Steve Bruce. Sunderland were in the middle of a 14 winless game run and Bruce wanted some fresh faces.

To help Darren Bent and Fraizer Campbell up front, Bruce opted for Benjani on loan from Manchester City. The Zimbabwe man made eight appearances for the Black Cats, failing to contribute to Sunderland’s goal tally.

Verdict: MISS 2/10

Alan Hutton:

To bolster his defensive options, Bruce loaned Alan Hutton from Spurs. Hutton impressed in red and white and made eleven appearances for the club. It was reported that both Sunderland Hutton were keen to make the move permanent, however Sunderland and Spurs were in disagreement over the transfer fee.

Verdict: HIT 6/10

Sulley Muntari:

At the start of the 2011 winter transfer window, the Black Cats sat in 6th. The window was one of mixed reviews as the club made impressive signings but was rocked by the shock departure of Darren Bent, whom Jermain Defoe may finally be a replacement for.

Sulley Muntari was an impressive loan signing for Sunderland and it was hoped he would improve the midfield. The Ghanaian international made nine appearances on Wearside, however after failing to impress the club not to buy the midfielder.

Verdict: MISS 5/10

Stephane Sessegnon:

Stephane Sessegnon was one of the most skilful players that Sunderland have had on their books for a long time. The former PSG man clocked up a total of 97 appearances for the Black Cats, scoring 18 goals. The midfielder proved to pivotal in a number of wins for Sunderland and was the standout man on a number of occasions. The Sunderland faithful were angered when Di Canio off-loaded him to West Brom after being unimpressed with his drink-driving charge.

Verdict: HIT 9/10

Wayne Bridge:

The following winter transfer was less impressive than the previous one, however Martin O’Neill’s honeymoon period was still in full flow and Sunderland fans were happy.

A defensive loan duo was O’Neill’s only work of the transfer window. Wayne Bridge came from Manchester City and played eight games in red and white.

Bridge never looked like a permanent solution to Sunderland’s defensive problems and it was no surprise when he wasn’t signed on a permanent basis.

Verdict: MISS 4/10

Sotirios Kyrgiakos:

Sotirios Kyrgiakos featured less than Bridge, only starring in three games for Sunderland and proved to be yet another January signing that never worked out.

Verdict: MISS 2/10

Danny Graham:

Sunderland entered 2013 sat in the respectable position of 11th place but needed to add to their firepower.

To partner Fletcher, Sunderland paid a total of £5m to Swansea for the services of Danny Graham. Graham failed to find the net in his first season at Sunderland and as a result was loaned out to Hull, Middlesbrough and Wolves, where he managed at least one goal for all three clubs.

Despite the fact Graham has failed to score in 16 appearances, he has recently being reintroduced into the fold.

Verdict: MISS 4/10

Kader Mangane:

Kader Mangane was another questionable January move by Sunderland.

The towering centre-half was loaned from Al-Hilal and made just two appearances.

Verdict: MISS 1/10

Alfred N’Diaye:

Many Sunderland fans were fond of Alfred N’Diaye, bought from Bursaspor for a fee believed to be around £4m. The well-built defensive midfielder had an impressive full debut for

Sunderland in a 3-2 win away to Wigan.

The Senegal international made 16 appearances for Sunderland and fans were sad to see him leave for Real Betis.

Verdict: HIT 6/10

Marcos Alonso:

Following Paolo Di Canio’s hectic summer transfer window in which he made 14 signings, the 2014 winter transfer window was a chance for Poyet to make his own mark on Sunderland.

The club needed a left-back and Marcos Alonso, on loan from Fiorentina was the chosen man.

Alonso had an impressive debut for Sunderland with a man of the match performance in the League Cup semi-final at home to Manchester United. Alonso was a hit on Wearside and it was a disappointment when the club’s permanent summer bid was rejected.

Verdict: HIT 7/10

Oscar Ustari:

With Keiren Westwood injured, the club needed back-up for Vito Mannone. Poyet opted for fellow South American Oscar Ustari following his release from Almeria. Ustari featured in three of Sunderland’s FA Cup games, conceding three goals and saving a Sone Aluko penalty. The Argentine was one of twelve players released in the summer of 2014.

Verdict: MISS 5/10

Santiago Vergini:

Fellow countryman Santiago Vergini was brought in alongside Ustari.

The start of Vergini’s Sunderland career was plagued with mistakes, though there was a noticeable improvement in his performances when he was forced to right-back. As a result of his good performances, he returned in the summer. On occasions, the Argentine seems to be capable of absolute brilliance, demonstrating incredible skill against Chelsea’s Eden Hazard, then at simple times, the 6ft. 3 man seems to panic unnecessarily.

Verdict: Undecided 5/10

Ignacio Scocco:

Ignacio Scocco, Ustari and Vergini’s Argentinian counterpart was tipped by Poyet as the man to solve Sunderland’s goal scoring woes. Signed from Internacional for a reported fee of £3m, it looked as if the Argentine was at Sunderland to stay. However, the striker failed to hit the ground running at Sunderland and returned to Argentina in the summer with just six appearances in red and white.

Verdict: MISS 2/10

Liam Bridcutt:

Having worked with him at Brighton, Gus was keen to bring Liam Bridcutt to Wearside. With two Player of the Year awards, Bridcutt was a hit among the Seagulls and cost Sunderland around £4m. He made a great start to his Wearside career, making his debut in a 3-0 win away to Newcastle.

The central midfielder has tough competition at Sunderland in the form of Lee Cattermole and Jack Rodwell. At times, Bridcutt as emulated the Cattermole role perfectly, however the midfielder can be known to give the ball away easily.

Verdict: Undecided 5/10