Sunderland sit third in League One at Christmas

Phil Smith's mid-season Sunderland player grades: How Lee Johnson's squad have fared and the players of the season so far

Cup campaigns now over, Sunderland’s attentions return to the League One promotion push and Doncaster Rovers.

By Phil Smith
Monday, 27th December 2021, 5:57 pm

That game will mark the halfway point of the league campaign, and a win would see the Black Cats return to the two points-per-game marker.

That feels a fair reflection of a season so far that has been bumpy, but encouraging in the way a new playing style has been implemented by a still quite youthful squad.

A number of academy players have made significant strides, while some players already established in Lee Johnson’s side have enjoyed a strong first half of the campaign.

Phil Smith has run through the squad player by player to assess their progress, to pick a player (or two) of the campaign so far and also to make some assessments on where the team might need strengthening through what looks to be an increasingly important January transfer window for the club…

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