Sunderland have revealed that seven first team players will depart the Stadium of Light this summer, but the club have moved to extend the terms of Aiden McGeady, Denver Hume, Luke O’Nien and Charlie Wyke.
There was a disappointing end to the 2020/21 campaign for the Black Cats, with Lee Johnson’s side slipping out of the automatic promotion race and then failing to progress through the play-off semi finals.
Lincoln City were victorious on aggregate across two legs against Sunderland, with the North East giants now facing a fourth consecutive year in the third tier of English football.
And, there’s been a bold call with regard to the club’s retained list, with Callum McFadzean, Chris Maguire, Conor McLaughlin, Grant Leadbitter, Max Power, Josh Scowen and Remi Matthews not offered new deals and poised to leave the club at the end of June.
There has, though, been movement with regard to the future of McGeady, Hume and O’Nien, who will all be offered new contracts heading into the new campaign.
Discussions with Wyke are ongoing, too, but it is Football League World’s understanding that he will have interest from the Championship after 26 goals, with Middlesbrough keeping tabs on the striker.
Johnson commented: “The players have worked extremely hard this season in very difficult circumstances and their reward for that was a trophy-winning season and a Play-Off spot. We are all disappointed we couldn’t achieve our ultimate goal of winning League One, but we thank the players for their endeavours and commitment and we will always welcome them back to the football club with open arms. As we look to a new dawn, there are many reasons to be optimistic about our future as we continue to rebuild the football club.”
What club do these 21 former Sunderland players ply their trade at now?
When you look at the players Sunderland are looking to retain, it makes complete sense. The likes of McGeady and Wyke have been key under Johnson and you can understand why he wants them around.
In regards to moving players on, given it is Johnson’s first summer, you maybe always expected these bullish decisions.
In truth, they were probably needed too. Four years in League One is a long time for any club, let alone one of Sunderland’s size. They need a fresh start and approach to get out of the division next season and decisions like this should hopefully set them up for success.
Thoughts? Let us know!