Everything could change at Sunderland this summer as the Black Cats look to assemble a team capable of staying in the Championship after being promoted.
Alex Neil has finally brought the team back to the second division despite a half season. Now he has a full offseason to reshuffle and sort the squad in his image – and that could mean some departures.
There will be plenty of players that Sunderland may not see a future for at the club and they could be bought in during the summer transfer window.
So here are two Black Cats players who are having an uncertain couple of weeks aside.
Quiz: Can you tell which club Sunderland sold these 23 players from the last decade to?
Lynden Gooch has been offered a new deal with Sunderland, according to their list, but there’s every chance he could turn down this new contract offer and join someone else.
Portsmouth have been credited with an interest in the player in recent weeks and while it would mean a step backwards to League One, he could potentially see more regular first-team action with Danny Cowley’s side compared to the Black Cats who are now back play the second stage.
He managed 38 league games for Sunderland over the course of the promotion season and amassed six assists during that time – but he has spent most of his career in League One.
He’s only made 12 starts for the Black Cats in the second division before – and that could work against him. If they decide to sign someone with more experience, he could leave the club soon.
One player Sunderland will be keen to get rid of is Ross Stewart, who was at the forefront of their promotion to League One and once again fired them towards the Championship.
With 24 goals in 46 games for the Third Division team during the season, he was one of the division’s most prolific forwards and the Black Cats will be eager to use him again in the future. The player too will no doubt enjoy the chance to test themselves a league higher.
However, his performances have understandably caught the eye of many other teams. Rangers are one such side, with the Scottish squad looking to catch up with Celtic in the Scottish Premiership and also try to find more European success.
Stewart could then make a decision about his future – and whether he stays at Sunderland or finds a new club could become clearer in the coming weeks.