We catch up with the players linked to Sunderland last summer.
As Sunderland prepare for life in the Championship, the rumour mill is already hotting up ahead of the transfer window. Let’s take this opportunity to find out what happened to the players linked with Sunderland last summer.
M’Bengue ended up signing for Saint-Etienne after leaving Stade Rennais on a free transfer. The left-back’s season in Ligue 1 was disrupted by injuries, limiting him to 15 appearances for the mid-table side.
M’Bengue played alongside Florentin Pogba, the twin brother of Paul Pogba, at Saint Etienne. He featured 17 times during the 2016/7 campaign and lined up against his brother in the knockout stages of the Europa League.
Mbodji opted to stay at Anderlecht. The versatile defender impressed, once again, this season for the Belgian club. Mbodji, who is being linked with a Premier League move this summer, recently scored in the wins over KRC Genk and Waasland-Beveren.
Richards, 28, endured a frustrating season after failing to secure a move away from Aston Villa. The former Manchester City man made three league appearances all season, last featuring back in October.
Sheffield Wednesday were able to keep hold of Lees but still missed out on promotion to the Premier League. Lees helped the Owls to 14 clean sheets and captained his side in the absence of Glenn Loovens. Unfortunately for the centre-back, he netted a costly own-goal to take their play-off semi-final tie against Huddersfield Town to extra-time.
With Jermain Defoe on his way out, Sunderland will be on the hunt for goal-scorers this summer. Last year, Andre Gray (via the Daily Mail) and Diafra Sakho (via The Mirror) were believed to be targeted but both stayed put.
Gray scored nine goals in his first season in the Premier League to help Burnley secure their top-flight status. In contrast, Sakho only managed four appearances for West Ham United after struggling with a back injury.
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