The Black Cats are set to take on Sheffield Wednesday in the play-off semi-final at the Stadium of Light on Friday evening, followed by the second-leg showdown on Monday at Hillsborough.
While Alex Neil will undoubtedly be hoping that his side can get through these games with positive results and eventually get themselves into the second division by the end of the season, the possibility of another campaign in League One is still on the cards for the Wearside club.
Should the side find itself in this situation once again, the upcoming summer transfer window could be an interesting period for them.
As things stand, Sunderland have a significant number of players in their ranks with contracts set to expire in the summer.
As tends to be the case every year, there will be some players moving in and out of the club during the window.
However, in terms of what Neil’s squad could look like for next season, one figure that we feel should be a part of it is 19-year-old Ellis Short.
The youngster has made four appearances in the senior team but has yet to feature in a league game.
Throughout his short career, the Englishman has predominantly featured as a wide player but has shown his versatility by playing in numerous positions across the pitch.
This could make him a valuable asset for Neil in the future as a potential backup option in the team if needed.
With four of the players in their current senior squad that have contracts expiring in the summer being wide players, if any of those four names were to leave, this could potentially pave the way for Taylor to take their place in the squad.
Thus, should the Black Cats find themselves facing another season in the third division, this could give Neil the chance to give the youngster the right platform to develop and make a name for himself in the first team.