It’s fair to say that Sunderland have had a frustrating few seasons, having previously played in the top-flight, although they now find themselves in the third tier of English football.
The days of playing in the Premier League will feel like a distant memory to plenty of the Stadium of Light faithful, especially their impressive league campaign back in the 2010/11 campaign.
The Black Cats finished tenth in the top-flight that season, with one Manchester City loanee catching the eye with some impressive performances.
That player was Nedum Onuoha, who made 32 appearances for the club, before returning to Manchester City after his loan spell came to an end.
Speaking in an interview with Sunderland Live, Onuoha revealed that he was keen to sign permanently for Sunderland, but no discussions took place over his future at the Stadium of Light.
“That year was one of my most enjoyable in my career and I 100% would have been happy to sign permanently.
“I was from Manchester and supported City, so to get the chance to play for them was amazing, but I was really enjoying playing week-in, week-out with really good players at a really good stadium. It just ticked so many boxes for me.
“It was always going to be down to City, but if Sunderland had put an offer in that was accepted it would have been a no-brainer for me. For as much as I thought it might have, the opportunity never came about.
“I don’t know why. There wasn’t any conversation with Steve Bruce at the end of the season or anything. It’s a tough conversation to have, to be fair. Your loan finishes in May and you can’t do any business until July, so maybe he was weighing up other options.”
Onuoha went on to state that he loved his time with the club, and was delighted to achieve his goals with the Black Cats during an impressive league campaign.
“The opportunity just never came, and that’s just football sometimes. I tried to do my best, but maybe he only saw me as a player who was going to be there for just a year, or City only saw me as being away for a year.
“But it was a shame because I’d have loved to have joined Sunderland permanently looking back. I loved that year and I love the fact we achieved our goal of top ten on the last day when everyone had written us off.”
Onuoha is currently playing his football in American with Real Salt Lake, after a previous spell with QPR.
Can you name these obscure former Sunderland players? Test your knowledge in our quiz!
I’m surprised that they didn’t try and sign him permanently.
Onuoha was really impressive in his time with the club, and after such a strong finish in the Premier League, then you would have thought they’d be eager to sign him on a permanent basis.
But for one reason or another, the move never materialised. Sunderland could certainly have benefitted from having a player of his experience and quality in their side in recent seasons.
They’ve missed having leaders in their squad, and Onuoha would have been a worthy addition to have in their squad.