With just a few days to go until the end of the transfer window, here’s the state of play at the Stadium of Light:
What’s happened in the transfer window so far?
Sunderland completed their fourth signing of the month earlier this week as 21-year-old Jack Clarke joined the club on loan from Tottenham.
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The Black Cats now appear well stocked in the attacking midfield and wide positions after bringing in Patrick Roberts from Manchester City last week.
That has allowed Josh Hawkes to join League Two side Tranmere on a permanent deal, while Jack Diamond has returned to Harrogate on loan.
Sunderland have also bolstered their defensive line by bringing in Danny Batth from Stoke, meaning the squad now has four recognised central defenders again after Frederik Alves was recalled by West Ham.
Bailey Wright can also play at right-back, where new signing Trai Hume will be hoping to make his debut and receive some first-team game time during the second half of the campaign.
Where else are Sunderland looking to strengthen?
While admitting he still wants to strengthen his squad, Johnson has said he would ‘be more than happy’ with the group he has until the end of the season.
Clearly, though, the Black Cats boss would like more cover up front, even if Nathan Broadhead is on track to return in March.
Sunderland remain in talks with Jermain Defoe after Johnson revealed last week the club “are working very hard to try and bring Jermain in.”
The Black Cats could also make a move to sign another full-back after Denver Hume’s transfer to Portsmouth.
Northampton left-back Ali Koiki, 22, is a player who has been on the club’s radar, yet there has been interest from elsewhere.
Sunderland are also weighing up their options in central midfield, with Luke O’Nien still recovering from a shoulder surgery.
What about outgoings?
Following the arrivals of Clarke and Roberts, it wouldn’t be a major surprise if one of Sunderland’s attacking players was allowed to leave before Monday’s deadline.
Aiden O’Brien, for example, was set to join Doncaster in the summer but the deal wasn’t completed in time.
If an offer is made for a Black Cats player which would suit all parties, we could see a deal struck.
Still, it should be stressed that Sunderland aren’t in a position where they have to sell, meaning first-team regulars such as Ross Stewart and Dan Neil can be expected to stay put.
Under-23s players Benji Kimpioka, 21, and Tyrese Dyce, 20, have been made available, as has defender Arbenit Xhemajli.
Xhemajli, 23, spent more than a year on the sidelines with a major knee injury but has slowly returned to action in recent months.
Sunderland believe a loan move would be best for the player’s development, yet his departure may leave the Black Cats short of defensive options.
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