The strongest Sunderland team and squad Lee Johnson could pick right now with League One kick-off one month away
Sunderland’s League One season kicks-off in exactly month, with Wigan Athletic set to visit the Stadium of Light on August 7.
And there is still some considerable work to be done in the transfer market ahead of the season start date, with the Black Cats’ squad looking thin on depth in some key areas.
Transfer breakthroughs look to be close, with reports suggesting that Alex Pritchard is in advanced talks with the club while Eric Lichaj is reportedly training with the Black Cats this week.
Sunderland will also need to replace Charlie Wyke, who departed this week, while Denver Hume continues to consider his future.
And speaking at the weekend, head coach Lee Johnson said the club remain extremely active in the market.
“We have actually got four or five current bids on the table for various positions so it’s not like we’re not moving," Johnson said.
“You always look at the transfer market and it's, are they affordable? Are they accessible and are they available? So you don’t bid for somebody unless you feel they are affordable accessible and available and obviously it depends on transfer fee. Agents fees as well and at the moment, I think agents have been pretty unrealistic with the climate to the levels of percentages they want.
“Inevitably, as time goes on the player starts getting a little bit anxious about ‘the other boys are training’ and all his mates are training and he’s not, and things start to move a little bit.
"So I’m confident in the majority of positions in our list and in our actions, but obviously it’s one thing acting on it and getting it over the line.
“What I would say is myself, Kristjian [Speakman], Jamie [McAllister], Luke Coles [analyst], James Young [head of data and analysis] and obviously Stuart Harvey [head of recruitment], we’ve been 7am till 11pm all summer thrashing all these out. I need a holiday!"
But if the season kicked-off today, what kind of team could Sunderland name? We take a look at the strongest side and squad currently available to the Black Cats, which includes a number of young players.