EFL pundit Clinton Morrison has suggested that he is surprised that the Black Cats have allowed the likes of Luke O’Nien, Aiden McGeady and Charlie Wyke to run their contracts down heading into the summer.
The Black Cats could be facing a major rebuilding job under Lee Johnson now in the summer, with them having failed to get past Lincoln City in the semi-finals of the League One play-offs.
That means that a host of players who are set to see their contracts expire at the Stadium of Light may well have played their final game for the club.
Amongst that group of players are the likes of O’Nien, McGeady and Wyke. All three of those have been instrumental this term for the Black Cats, but could now be set to depart the club.
Indeed, McGeady even had to waive a clause in his deal that would have earned him a 12-month extension just so he could feature in the second leg against Lincoln City.
What club do these 21 former Sunderland players ply their trade at now?
Speaking to EFL on Quest, Morrison suggested that he is surprised that the Black Cats have not done more to try and secure the longer-term futures of key players like O’Nien, McGeady and Wyke heading into the summer. He also believes that it is going to take a big rebuilding job now for them ahead of next term.
He said: “That surprises me that the club allows two talented players (McGeady and O’Nien), probably two of their best players this season (to let their) contracts run down low. And also Charlie Wyke he scored over 30 goals, I don’t understand how they don’t want to keep him as well, but it’s going to be a real rebuilding job I think for Sunderland.
“They need to get out of League One, it’s a huge club.”
This is a difficult one, you can understand perhaps the situation with McGeady given he is coming towards the end of his career and is the club’s highest earner.
Therefore, sustaining his wages for another year in the third tier might be beyond the club especially considering the financial situation facing all clubs in the EFL at the moment. Letting him go might be for the best despite his quality.
However, the Black Cats should not be letting someone as crucial to their side as O’Nien run down his contract. He is a player that always gives his all and can be relied upon to deliver consistent performers in a number of different positions. Losing him for nothing would be a massive oversight by the club.
Wyke is another difficult one because before this season he had not really done enough for Sunderland since he arrived. However, he has been in excellent form for most of the campaign and his goals have been vital for them reaching the top-six.