In recent years the likes of Alvaro Negredo, Jesus Navas and Ivan Rakitic have been produced through their development, and Sunderland are clearly banking on another star being in their ranks.
With the club scouting Sevilla, we take a look at three players the club could potentially sign.
Daniel Carrico - CB
With the ageing nature of Sunderland’s back-line, they need to do some serious work on bringing quality into the defensive areas, and Carrico certainly fulfils that. With 24 appearances to his name this term, the 26-year-old is undoubtedly Sevilla’s first-choice centre-half, and that could make completing any deal hard. However, he could be tempted by the Premier League, and he would bring talent and experience to the Black Cats, as well as being a long-term fix for their defensive issues.
Stephane Mbia - CM
Mbia is in his first season as a full-time Sevilla player, having spent last season on loan there, winning the Europa League. However, the defensive midfielder, 28, has been linked with a return to England, with Crystal Palace supposedly interested - as per the Daily Mail - and he would provide experience to an extremely weak midfield. Jack Rodwell and Liam Bridcutt are too poor to provide consistency, and Mbia’s thoughtful work in the centre of the park would allow Lee Cattermole to excel in his more energetic role.
Gerard Deulofeu - ST
The Barcelona winger is currently on loan with Sevilla, having spent last term with Everton, and the Black Cats could move for him in the summer. It is likely that Barca will only allow him another loan move, but with three goals and 10 assists in 27 games he has shown a wealth of talent. He could also prefer a move to England over Spian having enjoyed his time at Goodison Park, although there are likely to be a number of parties interested in his signature - and Sunderland could rank near the bottom of that list.