Sunderland's most expensive XI arguably proves that spending money certainly does not guarantee success.
As Sunderland continue their preparations for a season in the Championship, HITC Sport has compiled an XI consisting of their most expensive signings in each position...
GK: Craig Gordon
The Telegraph reported back in 2007 that Sunderland spent £9 million on Craig Gordon. Occasional moments of brilliance were overshadowed by his constant struggles with injury. His career appeared to be over when he left in 2012, but he has revived his career after joining Celtic in 2014.
Craig Gordon in action against Chelsea
CB: Anton Ferdinand
According to the Chronicle, Anton Ferdinand joined Sunderland for £8 million in 2008. He enjoyed a decent spell with the Black Cats before leaving for QPR.
CB: John O'Shea
Transfermarkt reports that Sunderland paid Manchester United £5.5 million for John O'Shea back in 2011. While he played for the club during this completely uninspiring period in their recent history, he was arguably a good signing for Sunderland.
Sunderland's Papy Djilobodji
CB: Papy Djilobodji
Apparently Sunderland saw enough in Papy Djilobodji's one minute career in Chelsea's first-team to pay around three times what the Blues paid for him the year before - with the Guardian suggesting they paid £8 million. His form has not vindicated the club's decision at all.
RM: Wahbi Khazri
After he helped keep Sunderland up under Sam Allardyce, it appeared that spending £9 million on Wahbi Khazri was a wise move (via Guardian). His form last season was not so good.
CM: Didier Ndong
Sunderland's decision to spend £13.6 million on Didier Ndong - as reported by BBC Sport - is arguably as perplexing as the Djilobodji deal, with the midfielder showing little last season.
Sunderland's Jack Rodwell
CM: Jack Rodwell
Spending £10 million on Jack Rodwell - also reported by BBC Sport - seemed to be a wise move for Sunderland. But unfortunately, Rodwell had to wait over 1300 days before tasting victory in a league game he had started for the Black Cats.
LM: Adam Johnson
ST: Fabio Borini
Fabio Borini undoubtedly infuriated Sunderland supporters during his time with the club, enjoying brief yet vital runs of form before going missing for several games in a row it seemed. For that reason, BBC Sport's suggestion that they spent £10 million on him could perhaps be viewed as a gamble that did not work out.
ST: Asamoah Gyan
Sunderland broke their transfer record in 2010 by spending £13 million on Asamoah Gyan, according to BBC Sport. Unfortunately, he had left little over a year later after an average spell at the Stadium of Light.
ST: Darren Bent
Sunderland take a lot of flak for their transfer business, but one deal they did seem to get right was the £10 million they initially spent on Darren Bent in 2009, according to BBC Sport. He would boast a very good record of 32 goals in 58 league games before being sold to Aston Villa in a deal ultimately worth £24 million. He never reached double figures for league goals for the Villans.
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