Sam Allardyce has quite a bit to do in his new job. Recently appointed Sunderland manager, ‘Big Sam’ takes charge of a Black Cats side struggling towards the bottom of the Premier League, after a winless start to the season.
It’s been pretty dark at the Stadium of Light recently, with the Wearside outfit facing relegations battles over the past two seasons. Former boss Dick Advocaat left the club amid reports he had been frustrated by the lack of backing he’s received in the transfer market, despite some big names arriving at the club over the summer.
However, a lack of quality still seems to be oh so prevalent in the Sunderland side, as proved by their poor start to the season. Though the former Bolton, Newcastle and West Ham boss is likely to make them more difficult to beat, there’s only so much he can do with limited talent.
Here are five weary Wearsiders to axe in January and lift the darkness at the Stadium of Light…
With Jermain Defoe and Fabio Borini available to Allardyce, Scotland international Steven Fletcher could be discarded. Though a sale is unlikely to recoup much of the £14m Sunderland shelled out for his services to Burnley, he’s likely to have some suitors at least.
By no means a bad player, but Defoe and Borini simply offer more in attacking areas. The 28-year old has been a solid servant, but his sale could generate much needed funds.
He’s been in decent international form, but taking into account Gibraltar presence in the Scots’ Euro 2016 qualifying group would show he’s really quite ineffective.
Unlike Fletcher, selling Danny Graham is not likely to produce much in the way of incoming funds. However, selling Danny Graham is a good thing. Because he’s Danny Graham. And you’re selling him.
Perhaps, that’s too unfair, as he’s largely been playing in sub-standard Sunderland teams during his Black Cats career. However, loan spells at Hull and Wolves haven’t yielded much success in terms of goals and the fact he supports Newcastle hasn’t endeared him to fans.
The former Brighton man was brought in under former boss Gus Poyet, and has been unable to force himself into a fully-fledged first team option.
Lee Cattermole, Yann M’vila and Jack Rodwell offer strong options (on paper at least) in the middle of the park, leaving the Scottish international on the bench. Even Jordi Gomez can supplement the aforementioned trio throughout the season.
A return to the Championship would suit all parties.
Who? Exactly. The French defender was brought in during the infamous summer spree of 2013, where Paolo di Canio presided over perhaps the worst influx of players ever seen in the Premier League.
The French defender hasn’t even received a squad number since returning from his season long loan with Reims in his homeland, suggesting he really isn’t in the plans. We don’t want to tempt fate here at Football Fancast, but we can’t see that changing too much despite a managerial turnover.
Wes Brown is a ridiculously decorated defender, with a glittering career behind them. But that’s the problem – every passing second it’s becoming more and more of a distant memory.
Younes Kaboul, Sebastian Coates and John O’Shea are able to deputise at the heart of defence, and the 36-year old former Manchester United stalwart should be moved on to make way for a younger, hungrier alternative.
Though he’s unlikely to garner much in the way of a transfer fee, getting his presumed eye-wateringly expensive wages off the bill is likely to help.