sunderland, Released captain and more: 3 free transfer bargains Sunderland must eye this summer

Released captain and more: 3 free transfer bargains Sunderland must eye this summer

Sunderland must add some experience to their squad next season and the Black Cats should utilise the free agent market to do so.

Sunderland were labelled by as promotion contenders last season after they tasted defeat in the play-offs in 2022/23. However, they fell way short of that, finishing in a disappointing 16th place.

Now under new management, the Black Cats face a huge summer of transfer activity, with improvements needed in various positions.

sunderland, Released captain and more: 3 free transfer bargains Sunderland must eye this summer
Image courtesy of: STEPHANE MAHE/REUTERS.

Simon Moore has been the only new recruit so far but with academy graduate Chris Rigg signing a new deal, there is an element of optimism in the air on Wearside once again.

With Premier League aspirations in mind, we have picked out three realistic free agents who could bolster new boss Regis Le Bris’ Sunderland squad this summer…

Oliver Norwood

Championship sides have already registered their interest in former Sheffield United midfielder Norwood following his release from the Blades.

West Brom and Watford are both rumoured to be interested in acquiring Norwood’s signature, but Sunderland are also among his admirers, and he could be the ideal addition to Le Bris’ engine room.

The Black Cats’ lost Corry Evans earlier this summer, leaving their already youthful squad with even less experience. Norwood, 33, would be a smart signing, equipping the side with a combination of leadership and quality in a crucial part of the pitch.

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Matches are won and lost in midfield, so recruiting a player who has gained promotion to the Premier League on three separate occasions would be a huge statement of intent.

His experience would undoubtedly aid the development of Sunderland’s young stars like Dan Neil and Chris Rigg too.

sunderland, Released captain and more: 3 free transfer bargains Sunderland must eye this summer
Image courtesy of: CRAIG BROUGH/REUTERS.

Alan Browne

Another free agent with plenty of Championship action under his belt, Browne recently rejected a new deal with Preston North End and is available on a free. The 29-year-old Irishman made over 400 appearances for the club and left as their 11th all-time highest appearance maker.

Browne captained the Lilywhites and leaves the club after a decade at Deepdale and Sunderland should turn their attention to his signature. Like Norwood, he operates in the heart of midfield and has the composure to dictate the tempo of games as well as the passing ability to carve open Championship defences.

He could be the player to help create opportunities for Sunderland’s more creative outlets, such as Jack Clarke and Patrick Roberts.

Once again, Browne is likely to be the subject of intense Championship speculation but the stature and potential of Sunderland can often be a tempting offer.

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sunderland, Released captain and more: 3 free transfer bargains Sunderland must eye this summer

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Divin Mubama

Finally, Sunderland have monitored the contract situation of West Ham striker Divin Mubama for a sustained period of time and the 19-year-old is now available on a free.

The Black Cats’ have done effective business with the Hammers in the past with as Pierre Ekwah and Aji Alese have both proved to be fan favourites. Mubama would suit Sunderland’s model to a tee, adding further talent and potential to their youthful side.

The Wearside out faced huge difficulties in the striker department last season after Ross Stewart’s departure, and Mubama would add some pace to their front-line.

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