It’s sure to be a very busy summer at Sunderland as new owner Kyril Louis-Dreyfus looks to back Lee Johnson with funds to build a team capable of winning promotion.
Losing the play-off semi-final to Lincoln hurt all connected to the club, but there will be optimism that the Black Cats are capable of going up next season.
However, it’s clear that reinforcements will be required, and former Sunderland favourite Kevin Phillips has explained that left-back has to be a priority for the club this summer.
That won’t really come as a surprise, with doubts about Denver Hume’s future whilst Callum McFadzean will leave and Jake Vokins has returned to Southampton.
And, here we look at THREE options the Wearside outfit should be considering…
Does the Stadium of Light have a higher or lower capacity than these 18 grounds?
Penney will be a free agent this summer as he leaves Sheffield Wednesday and he could turn out to be a shrewd addition for Sunderland.
The 23-year-old has shown flashes of his ability in the past but he hasn’t had a consistent run in the team. If he gets those minutes though, he could become a key player in the third tier. On a free, it seems a low-risk move that could work out for Johnson.
Sunderland have had success with bringing in a young player from Wolves in Dion Sanderson, and they could go back to the Premier League side to solve their left-back problem.
Whilst Giles has predominantly played as a wing-back, he could do a job in a back four and his attacking instincts should serve Sunderland well.
There may be Championship interest in the player, but regular first-team football at the Stadium of Light could convince Wolves to let Giles develop there, after spells with Rotherham and Coventry where he didn’t always start.
This would be a very ambitious move and financially it could be tough as whilst he’s on a free, Douglas would surely command a hefty salary by League One standards.
However, if there’s any chance of getting a deal done, Sunderland must do all they can to make it happen, and the prospect of being a key player on a contract with a decent length may convince the Scotsman.
With excellent dead-ball delivery and a winning mentality, Douglas would be a massive coup for Sunderland and it would be a chance for the owner to show he really means business.