After the dismissal of former manager Jack Ross last Tuesday, Sunderland are currently in a period of transition.
The Wearsiders are yet to appoint a replacement and currently a distance behind leaders Ipswich after 11 games, sitting in 9th place in the League One table.
Caretaker manager James Fowler will be looking to pick up the team for the trip to Wycombe this Saturday, and the players will want to show any prospective new manager exactly what they are capable of.
However, there could be another problem on the horizon. Sunderland will not want a repeat of the Josh Maja transfer saga that occurred last January, and will be looking to keep their best players on the books.
We take a look at two potential first-team players who could attract some interest in the next transfer window…
The 24-year-old has been one of the first names on the team sheet for Sunderland since signing from Wycombe back in July 2018.
O’Nien has contributed with two assists and one man-of-the-match display in the league so far, and has proved to be a key player for the Black Cats. Previous manager Jack Ross admitted previously that O’Nien is capable of applying himself at Championship level in the future.
The Englishman is out of contract at the end of the season however, and with clubs sniffing around in the summer, the club might be in a race against time to trigger the extension on his current deal.
A Sunderland academy graduate, Gooch has already shown his quality with three goals so far in League One this season.
The US-born winger has made over 80 appearances for the north-east side and is tied down until 2022 after signing a contract extension in December of last year.
The upcoming months will be a real test to see if the attacker can maintain the good standards after an inconsistent season of contrasts in 2018-19. Despite that, if he can keep his good form going, some Championship clubs may be keeping an eye on the American International’s performances.