The big questions Sunderland’s retained list doesn’t answer - and how Jack Ross can resolve the issues
While Sunderland’s released and retained lists threw up little in the way of surprises, they sent some stark reminders to Jack Ross about the state of his squad.
Perhaps the main talking point was the decision to release Max Stryjek - although that may come as little shock given the young stopper’s frank admissions earlier this season, where he pleaded for senior opportunities.But while many discussions will focus on the players that left, little has been said about the players that remain at the Stadium of Light.And it’s that which will likely hand Jack Ross some perplexing dilemmas in key positions ahead of the new campaign.Some of those decisions will be fairly straightforward. Another senior goalkeeper, for example, is a necessity this summer.Right-back should be a similarly simple area, too. Adam Matthews’ departure leaves only Donald Love as a recognised right-back in the squad - although Luke O’Nien’s future may well lie in that more defensive role.Clarity will be needed on that front, and in other key areas.Should Reece James and Dylan McGeouch remain at the Stadium of Light, the Black Cats could find themselves oversubscribed at left-back and in central midfield.The pair are facing uncertain futures at the club with the option of a year-long extension on the table for both - but the duo staying at the club could provide more questions than answers.The left-back problem may have an easy solution. If Bryan Oviedo does leave the club this summer, as is widely rumoured, it will leave James and Denver Hume to battle it out. Should James leave, though, then Ross may have a different kind of dilemma on his hands.But solving the over-abundance of central midfielders may be more tricky. Lee Cattermole is the most naturally saleable asset, but finding a club willing to offer him the required wages may prove difficult.So while Sunderland’s released and retained lists may have gone some way to solving the main issues in the first-team squad, there are still plenty of dilemmas to be resolve before the season kicks-off.