They included long-serving permanent players such as Aiden McGeady and Jordan Willis, who both exited the Stadium of Light following the expiry of their deals along with Lee Burge and Arbenit Xhemajli.
There was also the case of the Black Cats’ loanees as well, with the likes of Callum Doyle heading back to Manchester City, although Leon Dajaku had a promotion clause triggered in his deal from Union Berlin to make his move to Wearside a full-time one.
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A loanee that Sunderland had high hopes for at the start of the season upon his arrival was German goalkeeper Ron-Thorben Hoffmann, who joined from Bayern Munich.
Having appeared regularly under Lee Johnson, it was thought that the 23-year-old would almost certainly sign permanently this summer if he kept his performances up, with a fee already agreed that Sunderland just needed to trigger.
However, Hoffmann was unavailable in Alex Neil’s first match in charge of the Black Cats back in February, and he could never regain his place in the side from Anthony Patterson, who was the first-choice all the way up until Sunderland’s play-off success.
Hoffmann will now return to the German giants following the end of his loan deal, but not before issuing a parting message via Instagram to Sunderland supporters.
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“Dear SAFC supporters, I just wanted to say THANK YOU for everything you’ve done for me and for us as a team this season,” Hoffmann wrote.
“It was such a crazy year but we finished the season with the promotion.
“I am proud that I played my part and helped the club to get out of that league.
“It was a big honor to wear the Sunderland shirt!
“From now on I will support the club on their way back to the top.
“All the best and a big big thank you again !”
Judging him on his performances in the first half of the 2021-22 season, Hoffmann would have probably been a certainty to secure a permanent switch to Wearside.
He was a good shot-stopper and comfortable with the ball at his feet, and despite having some flaws, the potential was there to develop into an even better goalkeeper.
Alex Neil didn’t see it that way though, preferring Patterson over Hoffmann, and it has led to the German heading back to Bayern Munich, where he will no doubt be seeking his next move.
Reports in Germany suggest that 25 league appearances would have triggered the option to send Hoffmann to Sunderland on a full-time basis, but having fell short of that by two games, the Black Cats will now look elsewhere for Patterson’s competition in 2022-23.