The January transfer window could well be crucial for Sunderland this season.
With the Black Cats once again targeting promotion out of League One, they will no doubt be determined to fine tune their squad in the market, to give them the best possible chance of returning to the Championship.
But while that may see some players arriving at The Stadium of Light, there are others who may well be eyeing a departure from the club at the turn of the year, which could yet prove to be best for all concerned.
So with that in mind, we’ve taken a look at two players Sunderland could look to move on, once the market reopens in January.
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One player who Sunderland, perhaps somewhat reluctantly, may be preparing to see leave the club in January, is Tom Flanagan.
Recent reports from Football Insider have claimed that Championship trio Middlesbrough, Preston and Bristol City are eyeing possible January moves for the defender.
As a result, given Flanagan is out of contract at Sunderland at the end of this season, the Black Cats may be willing to let him join one of those sides in January. That way, they can at least receive some sort of a fee for the 30-year-old, rather than lose him for nothing in the summer.
One player who has already been out on loan from Sunderland this season, and who could benefit from another temporary move away from the Stadium of Light, is Benji Kimpioka.
The attacker made just two appearances during a loan spell with struggling National League side Southend United last month, and has not made the matchday squad for Sunderland in any of the four games they have played since his return.
As a result, it seems Kimpioka could struggle to force his way back into Lee Johnson’s side any time soon, so a fresh loan in January could make sense, to ensure he still has a chance of first-team football.