How Sunderland squad looks ahead of possible transfer restrictions amid 22-man squad proposals

The EFL’s salary and squad cap proposals could have major implications for League One clubs – but how well-equipped are Sunderland to deal with them?

It is widely expected that third tier clubs will vote in favour of proposals to limit spending on wages, agent fees and relocation costs to £2.5million per season – in a move which will severely impact Sunderland’s spending power and ability to bring in new faces.

The proposals will also see the Black Cats’ limited in how many first-team players they are allowed on their books, with a squad cap of 22 players – reducing to 21 and then 20 in subsequent seasons – set to be implemented.

And with Sunderland already having 16 senior players on their books – providing Tom Flanagan pens a contract extension – it could see Phil Parkinson limited in how many players he can sign this summer unless he can move some players out the door.

How Sunderland's squad is shaping-up ahead of the League One squad cap

So how does Sunderland’s squad look at present, and how much room for manoeuvre do they have in the transfer market this summer? We take a look, position-by-position:


Lee Burge is currently the only senior goalkeeper on the club’s books, with Phil Parkinson currently seeking a replacement for the departed Jon McLaughlin – with Ben Alnwick one of the names under consideration.

Anthony Patterson remains on the club’s books and, given he is aged just 20, will not count towards the squad cap (players aged under 21 are exempt from the 22-player limit to encourage youth development).


Sunderland currently only have four senior defenders registered for the new campaign – Conor McLaughlin, Luke O’Nien, Jordan Willis and Denver Hume.

Tom Flanagan is currently in discussions over a new deal, with Parkinson stating in a recent interview that he was hopeful that a deal could be pushed over the line. Parkinson is also keen to tie-up a deal for Bailey Wright, who impressed in a fleeting loan spell last season.


Sunderland are fairly well-stocked in the midfield area and this is unlikely to be a priority position for Phil Parkinson.

There are four senior midfielders on the books of the Black Cats – Max Power, George Dobson, Josh Scowen and Grant Leadbitter.


And area where we expect to see some movement this summer.

In terms of outgoings, a permanent departure for Aiden McGeady is expected to be pursued – while extra firepower is undoubtedly required up top to supplement Charlie Wyke and Will Grigg.

Benji Kimpioka, who is weighing-up a new deal, would not count towards any squad cap given he is aged under 21.

Squad in full – and how it compares to the proposed squad cap

Goalkeepers: Lee Burge, Anthony Patterson (squad cap exempt)

Defenders: Conor McLaughlin, Luke O’Nien, Jordan Willis, Tom Flanagan (contract offer made), Denver Hume

Midfielders: Max Power, George Dobson, Josh Scowen, Grant Leadbitter

Forwards: Chris Maguire, Aiden McGeady, Lynden Gooch, Elliot Embleton, Benji Kimpioka (contract offer made, squad cap exempt), Charlie Wyke, Will Grigg

Current squad numbers (assuming contract offers are accepted): 16

New players allowed to be added as things stand: 6

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