Sunderland January Transfer Window Roundup

January was a frustrating month for Black Cats manager Chris Coleman and fans alike. With reinforcements desperately required, Coleman set to work on improving his squad. However, with little to no money to spend, acquiring the players required could prove to be difficult and ultimately it did. Many players were linked to arrive and to leave. Here is a look at the players that came in, left and almost arrived or departed.

Sunderland January Transfer Window Roundup


Jake Clarke-Salter

The Chelsea defender was the first to arrive. The highly-rated youngster signed on loan until the end of the season. Few were surprised when a defender was the first to arrive. The Black Cats have been leaking goals far too easily this season and a defender was always a priority.

Clarke-Salter has had a successful start to his career winning the FA Youth Cup several times. He was also part of the England U20 team the won the Under-20 World Cup. It was the nation’s first World Cup success at any level since 1966. He can play as either a central defender or at left back – versatility that could come in useful.

Kazenga LuaLua

The winger/forward arrived from Brighton on a free transfer and has signed a short-term deal. LuaLua had a successful time on the South Coast, playing over 100 games after arriving from Newcastle. However, in recent times he has failed to gain a regular place with the Seagulls.

LuaLua is quick, skilful and has an eye for goal and can play out wide or up front. He is, more importantly, up for the fight that Sunderland find themselves in. He made his debut against Birmingham in midweek after coming on as a substitute.

Ovie Ejaria

Ejaria has been described as the English Paul Pogba. It is no wonder that he is highly thought of at his parent club Liverpool. He began his career at Arsenal before moving to Merseyside in 2014. He was given his first-team debut by Jurgen Klopp in 2016 and is a regular trainer with the Liverpool first team. Ejaria is another who was part of the successful England U20 side that won the World Cup and has been gaining a lot of attention through his eye-catching performances for the Reds Under-23 side.

Speaking about his loan move to Wearside, Ejaria had this to say, “I’m really happy because I’ve wanted to go out on loan for a while to get regular first-team football under my belt. I’d say that I’m a player that likes to get on the ball quite a lot and make things happen, I’ll try to create chances and hopefully score some goals as well. I’ll always give one hundred percent and work hard for the team.” 

Lee Camp

After the less than inspiring performances of Sunderland’s two main goalkeepers Jason Steele and Robin Ruiter, it came as no surprise when rumours surfaced that a new keeper could be arriving. The Black Cats have let in too many goals that have been down to errors by their number one.

After some false starts, Chris Coleman and the Sunderland fans finally got what they wanted at the very end of transfer deadline day. Cardiff City’s Lee Camp arrived on loan and is expected to go straight into the first team for the crucial home game against Ipswich Town on Saturday.

Camp is an experienced keeper, who knows the Championship well having played for Nottingham Forest, Derby County and Cardiff amongst others. As well as amassing almost 500 appearances, he has also been capped nine times by Northern Ireland.

Ashley Fletcher

Another loan signing and another to arrive on deadline day. The departure of top scorer Lewis Grabban and also summer signing James Vaughan left Chris Coleman short of options in attack. A striker was another priority and just when it looked like all efforts had failed, Middlesbrough forward Fletcher arrived late in the day.

The England Under-20 international only arrived at the Riverside last summer from West Ham for £6.5 million but he has found chances hard to come by. So far he has made just three appearances this season, scoring one goal. This is now his chance to prove he can be a success at this level and fire Sunderland to safety.


Didier Ndong

Left to join Watford on loan for the rest of the season with a view to a permanent move. Believed he belonged in the Premier League and not helping his team in the Championship. Sunderland wanted a permanent move to help fund incoming deals but when these were not forthcoming, a loan deal suited all concerned in the end.

Lewis Grabban

The striker who was on a season-long loan from Bournemouth and was also the clubs top scorer, but asked to be allowed to return to his parent club as soon as the transfer window opened. He advised that he did not want to play for the club anymore in the position they were in. Coleman has always stated he wants players who are up for the fight. Sadly Grabban was not. He has now joined Aston Villa on loan.


Signed in 2016 but failed to make a single first-team appearance. The goalkeeper left by mutual consent having been unable to get ahead of Jason Steele and Robin Ruiter. The fact he could not get ahead of two keepers in such poor form could say a lot about the ability of Mika.

James Vaughan

Only arrived last summer for £500,000; however, the strikers time at the club was disappointing, to say the least. Having scored over 24 goals for struggling Bury last season in League One, he could manage just two in 25 appearances this season. It is believed that Sunderland received £300,000 for the striker. A loss of £200,000 in half a season. A good League one player but maybe the Championship was a step too far.

Rees Greenwood

Left by mutual consent after struggling to make a mark on the first team. A talented player who came through the ranks and was given his first-team debut by Sam Allardyce but failed to make any more appearances. A regular for the Under-23 side, he left having just several months left on his contract in an attempt to kick-start his career.

Tom Beadling

The highly thought of defender has joined Scottish side Dunfermline Athletic on loan. Player and management will be hoping this loan move proves worthwhile and he returns ready to push for a first-team place in the future.

Not quite in or out

Jack Rodwell

His situation at the club has been well documented. Rarely fit, rarely plays and when he does his form has been poor. However, still collects £70k per week. Jack Rodwell’s time at the club has not worked and the former Manchester City and England midfielder needs to move on for the good of his career. Sunderland, in need of funds, offered to rip up his contract to save themselves money they desperately need and to allow the player to find a new club for free. Rodwell refused.

A trial in Holland failed to happen and the player also turned down a loan move to an unnamed club. He has told Sunderland he does not want to play for them but won’t accept the cancellation of his contract. He said it is not about money, it is about playing. Turning down a loan move suggests otherwise.

Jonathan Walters

This deal looked very likely at one stage. Burnley had agreed to loan the Black Cats the Republic of Ireland international striker and Coleman looked to be getting the forward he wanted. However, soon after, Walters tweeted a picture of himself in a hospital bed and the deal from then on was dead.

Ben Woodburn

Liverpool’s young Welsh winger had been on Coleman’s radar as soon as he took charge at Sunderland. Unfortunately for the manager, Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp stated that he was in no rush to send the winger out on loan and felt he was in the right place to continue his development.

Andy Lonergan

A deal for Leeds United’s experienced keeper looked to be almost done on the last day of the transfer window. However, like many deals at this stage in the window, there just wasn’t enough time to agree on personal terms. With the club and player unable to agree terms quickly, Coleman moved on and brought in Lee Camp instead.

Jason Steele

The goalkeeper’s time on Wearside has not proved to be successful, far from it. Steele has been error-prone, looked nervous from day one and installed little confidence in the players in front of him, staff and fans that he should be number one. With a new keeper coming in, Steele looked to be on his way to Derby on loan. Unfortunately for all Derby wanted to change the terms of the deal at the last minute. The deal, therefore, broke down.

Chris Martin

Out favour Derby striker travelled to Wearside to discuss terms of a loan move. He wanted time to think over the move but kept stalling, therefore Chris Coleman pulled out of the deal. Martin has now ended up on loan at Reading.

Other players that were linked but never came were the likes of Sheffield Wednesday strikers Jordan Rhodes and Atdhe Nuhiu. Leicester City goalkeeper Eldin Jakupović, Swansea striker Oli McBurnie and Wolves winger Ben Marshall.

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