There are several Sunderland players spending the season elsewhere.
Sunderland sent several players out on loan in the summer transfer window, mainly as a way of reducing their wage bill after being relegated to the Championship.
Here's a look at how each of Sunderland's loanees are getting on:
The experienced winger is back in Turkey with Besiktas, for whom he has scored four goals in nine appearances across all competitions so far this season.
However, he has found himself in and out of the side in recent games and a return to Sunderland seems rather unlikely.
The attacker has been playing regularly for AC Milan this season and has impressed with his link-up play from wide areas.
Borini hasn't been clinical in front of goal, though, which is something he will need to improve if he is to earn a permanent move to Milan.
Khazri lacked consistency when playing for Sunderland but that hasn't been a problem for him this season as he has scored five goals in nine league games for Stade Rennais, demonstrating his ability to play as a forward.
Like Lens and Borini, however, it is difficult to envisage him returning to Sunderland.
The centre-back, who was previously on Chelsea's books, is currently on loan at French side Dijon.
Djilobodji has relished playing regularly this season and has produced some impressive displays.
A young Polish goalkeeper, Stryjek is with Accrington Stanley in League Two.
However, he has only made one league appearance for the club, which came in September, and his loan spell certainly isn't aiding his development.