2015/16 Finish: 17
Last season Sunderland escaped relegation by 2 points. We should expect to see them in another relegation battle this season. A huge part of that fight came down to manager Sam Allardyce. Hired in October he helped bring a more organized tactical approach, but now he’s gone and it’s hard to believe that Sunderland has the means to survive another season in the Premier League.
Transfers In: None
Sunderland has been anything but active this transfer. Their biggest move was bringing David Moyes back to the Premier League as their manager. It’s going to be an interesting year for Sunderland.
Transfers Out: Emanuele Giaccherini (CM), Santiago Vergini (CB), Danny Graham (CF), Mikael Mandron (CF), Steven Fletcher (CF), Valentin Roberge (CB), Adam Matthews (RB), Steve Harper (GK), Wes Brown (CB), Ola Toivonen (CF), Yann M’Vila (DM), Dame N’Doye (CF)
Sunderland is losing a large amount of players this upcoming season, and has yet to make any moves to replenish the squad. The most notable name is Yann M’Vila whose presence will definitely be felt. He’s a top player and was a huge part in their fight to avoid relegation. Also, not surprising is the departure of Emanuele Giaccherini who was loaned out all of last season, but had a great run of form in the Euro 2016. He will now be playing for Napoli in Serie A.
What They Need/How to Improve:
If Sunderland hopes to stay in England’s top flight, they’ll need to improve defensively. They gave up 62 goals last season, and were lucky to not be relegated. Moyes should actually prove to be helpful when it comes to their defensive organization. That being said they should invest in an outside back. They should also consider investing in an extra attacker for the upcoming season.
Key Player(s): Jan Kirchoff (CB, DM)
Kirchoff turned out to be a huge player in Sunderland’s relegation battle last season. This year, they’re going to need to lean on him again. Able to play as both a center back and defensive midfielder, his tackling and passing are going to be vital if Sunderland is to see success this season.
2016/17 Predicted Finish: 18
Last season Sunderland was able to survive the relegation, but I don’t see them having the same luck this season. They’ve lost some players and had a managerial change, as previously mentioned. They’ve also failed to bring in any players as of yet, leaving huge doubts around their season. As a result, I don’t see them being surviving another relegation battle.