Sunderland rounded out 2021 with an emphatic 5-0 victory at home to Sheffield Thursday.
That has left Lee Johnson’s men top of the League One table as 2022 dawns. The Black Cats ended 2021 strongly. Not only did they enjoy that 5-0 win, but they were comfortable victors against Doncaster on December 27.
Despite losing 5-1 to Arsenal in the Carabao Cup quarter final, it was also an impressive achievement to reach the latter stages of the competition.
Sunderland are unbeaten in the league since November 2. It was Darren Moore’s men who won 3-0 in the reverse fixture of Thursday’s game.
The new year will be kicked off with an away trip to Wycombe Wanderers on January 8.
Until then, let’s take a look at the latest talking points around the club heading into the January transfer market…
Sunderland target tipped for the top by former Irish midfielder
“I can’t speak highly enough of this kid,” said Johnston.
“I think it’s Celtic, Sunderland and Lincoln who are in for Trai. Without disrespect to Lincoln, Celtic and Sunderland are two massive clubs.
“I am sure he will be a success wherever he goes. I have said this before, he wants to be a footballer. Every single day that kid tries to learn and improve. I don’t think there has been a day he has taken the foot off the gas.”
This is a resounding endorsement from the former midfielder. If Sunderland can win the race to Hume’s signature then it sounds like they will be introducing a special talent to the club.
Quiz: Did Sunderland do these 22 things in 2021?
Sunderland loan out youngsters
Anthony Patterson and Sam Wilding have been sent out on loan this month. Patterson is rejoining Notts County, where he played 16 times earlier in the season. Wilding will be joining Leamington.
“Although there were alternative moves on the table, we believe this remains the best fit to ensure Anthony’s development continues,” said Sunderland’s sporting director Kristjaan Speakman, via Chronicle Live.
“Likewise, we were conscious about the need for Sam to gain more minutes and valuable experience in a competitive senior environment, so this is an excellent opportunity for him to progress.”
This will give both of them the playing time they need to see if they are ready to play for Sunderland.
Wilding’s loan is only a short-term deal until February 5.
Meanwhile, Patterson will be available to play in Notts County’s next game against ex-Sunderland boss Phil Parkinson’s Wrexham on Sunday.