Who stays and who goes? The end of season Sunderland review Part One

Sunderland's squad at Watford
Sunderland's squad at Watford
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Sam Allardyce has predicted a “massive turnover” of the Sunderland squad this summer, as he overhauls the club’s ranks in a bid to escape the cycle of annual relegation battles.

But who stays and who goes?

In the first of a two part review, Sunderland reporter Chris Young casts his gaze over those on the club’s books and what the close season holds for them.


Vito Mannone

It’s been some transformation in Mannone’s fortunes over recent months after his Sunderland career looked done and dusted at the end of 2015, with a January exit imminent.

Since Allardyce decided to offload Costel Pantilimon, rather than Mannone, the Italian has returned to the form which saw him crowned Player of the Year in 2013-14.

But with only 12 months remaining on his contract, a new deal will have to be on the agenda. STAYING

Jordan Pickford

When Pickford returned from his successful loan spell at Preston and impressed in the defeats at Arsenal and Spurs, the academy product looked like he would hold down the first-choice keeper role.

Allardyce ultimately opted for the experience of Mannone, but Pickford will be a strong contender to start on the opening day of next season. STAYING

Steve Harper

There was never any real danger of Harper making a competitive appearance for Sunderland, but the ex-Newcastle man has provided a wise head around the place and given Allardyce an extra pair of eyes in the stands.

It wouldn’t be a surprise if Harper sticks around as third-choice next season, even if it is combined with a coaching role. POSSIBLY STAYING


Lamine Kone

How crucial it was that Sunderland signed Kone at the third time of asking after two previous January moves for the Ivory Coast international fell through.

Sunderland have a centre-half who they can build a defence around for years to come, with Kone relishing the first six months of his career at the Stadium of Light. STAYING

Younes Kaboul

Kaboul’s quality was not in question when he arrived in a £3million deal from Spurs last summer, yet his fitness was always the big issue after an injury-prone final year at White Hart Lane.

The Frenchman was colossal in the run-in, but he has endured a couple of lay-offs at Sunderland and Allardyce will still need cover for him. STAYING

Patrick van Aanholt

The most-improved player under Allardyce without question after putting those error-ridden displays at the start of the season behind him.

Van Aanholt was linked with a move to Crystal Palace if Sunderland had been relegated, but the Dutchman offers such a dangerous outlet going forwards, that it would be difficult to envisage him being sold. STAYING

DeAndre Yedlin

Allardyce was eager to bring in a new right-back in January and the prospect of terminating Yedlin’s loan six months early was mooted.

But since coming back into the side in February, Yedlin’s defending improved dramatically.

If Sunderland can get the American international back for a reasonable fee or another season-long loan, then he could return. POSSIBLE RETURN

Billy Jones

The ex-West Brom man was one of the better performers during those miserable early stages of the season, but before losing his place in February, he had become error-prone.

Allardyce will want to bring in a new right-back this summer and if he can bring in a couple, then Jones could be on his way. POSSIBLE EXIT

John O’Shea

Allardyce admitted O’Shea didn’t deserve to lose his starting spot, yet the form of Kone and Kaboul justified leaving the skipper on the bench.

O’Shea has another year to run on his Sunderland contract and may find himself limited to a bit-part role next season, albeit his influence off-the-field will remain pivotal. STAYING

Wes Brown

Brown justified that extra one-year contract when he helped Sunderland to pivotal back-to-back wins over Aston Villa and Swansea at the turn of the year.

But at 36-years-old, there is little prospect of the ex-Manchester United man remaining at the Stadium of Light. LEAVING

Tommy Robson

Enjoyed a positive debut at Watford and could become first in line to cover for van Aanholt at left-back.

Will be interesting though if Sunderland receive an approach from a Championship or League One club to give Robson the experience of regular first-team football. STAYING

Tom Beadling

Spent pre-season training with the first-team squad, but was not involved in the dead-rubber final day at Watford.

Needs the experience of a loan spell next season. POSSIBLE LOAN EXIT

Santiago Vergini

There was a compulsory purchase for Sunderland to buy Vergini last summer, yet after Gus Poyet’s exit, the Argentine’s future was always likely to be away from the Stadium of Light.

Temporary employers Getafe have the option to sign Vergini permanently, but they were relegated from La Liga last weekend.

Sunderland will hope they take up, or they can move him elsewhere. LEAVING

Sebastian Coates

Sporting Lisbon had the option to either sign Coates permanently this summer or in 12 months time, and with cash tight, they plumped for the latter.

But at least with Coates staying in Portugal on loan for another year, the ex-Liverpool man’s wages are covered. ALREADY LEFT

Adam Matthews

The biggest flop among Sunderland’s eight signings from last summer after being limited to just two underwhelming August appearances.

Bristol City have the option to sign him permanently after the right-back moved there on loan in February and that looks a likely scenario for Matthews. LEAVING