“Robbie has been probably one of the most frustrated out of everyone really. It’s been very stop-start. It’s been niggly for Rob, so he’s pleased to be back.

“We need to try and keep him back now, keep him ticking along, because he’s got big quality, big experience as well and he could help us for the run-in.”

Lastly, Sunderland are keen on AFC Wimbledon’s Jack Rudoni.

The Black Cats, as well as Bristol City and Huddersfield Town, have all had seven-figure bids for Rudoni rejected this month, but a recent report from Daily Mail says that Sunderland and Huddersfield will continue talks with the youngster.

Rudoni scored 12 goals and assisted five in League One last season.

There’s some potentially exciting signings on the horizon for Sunderland then. Neil certainly needs some new faces to come through the door this summer, sooner rather than later, so that he can get to work on building a squad capable of competing in the Championship.