Last week, Sunderland fans saw the surprise announcement that midfielder Lee Cattermole was to leave the club. In many ways it was a surprise; however, with Sunderland failing to gain promotion, the wage bill would need to be trimmed. Cattermole was on huge wages for League One and Jack Ross has an abundance of players in midfield. Cattermole’s departure may not only free up wages for new players, but it could also give others a chance to shine at Sunderland.
Lee Cattermole’s Departure Gives Others a Chance to Shine at Sunderland
Current First Team Squad Members
Luke O’Nien’s Time to Shine in Sunderland Midfield?
The fan favourite could excel if given the chance to play in his natural position. Last season he filled in superbly at right-back. However, now that Conor McLaughlin has been brought in, O’Nien could now be given his chance in his favoured role.
Manager Jack Ross has said that O’Nien will be given an opportunity in midfield during pre-season. It’s up to the popular, all-action man to take his chance.
McGeouch is a player who divides opinion although he was never given a run in the side to prove himself fully. The Scottish international signed last summer on a free after leaving Hibernian and is desperate to succeed at Sunderland. Even though his first season in England did not go as he wanted, he still exercised his right to extend his stay on Wearside by a further year.
McGeouch has been the subject of speculation linking him with a move back to Scotland. However, it appears that manager Jack Ross wishes him to stay, as does the player himself. Ross told the Sunderland Echo: “As a player, he wants to try and prove he can be a success here, so it’s a pretty straightforward one then. At the moment that’s how the situation is, I didn’t want him to leave and he wants to prove himself here.”
Another player who divides opinion, but Power’s passion and commitment can’t be faulted. When given the captaincy due to injuries and suspensions, Power appeared to excel with the armband.
He started his career on Wearside well. However, suspensions played a part in him not only missing games but adapting his style. If he can regain the form that he showed at the beginning of last season, not only could he be the first choice, but also a very capable alternative as a captain.
The Youngsters Who Could Shine at Sunderland
Sammut is a player who some may not know too well. He was one of three youngsters signed earlier this month. He originally had a trial with club last season and impressed enough to earn a permanent deal.
Sammut is a product of Chelsea’s academy and, like Cattermole, is an old fashioned midfield destroyer. He’s not a player who will advance too often into the opponent’s half, but he will protect his defenders.
Whether Embleton gets a chance to shine at Sunderland is down to him in more ways than one. Firstly, the highly-rated 20-year-old is out of contract and talks are ongoing. Should he sign a new deal, the technically gifted midfielder, who shone on loan at Grimsby Town last season, could have a big part to play this coming season.
Robson spent time on loan at Dundee last season having struggled with injuries. The move to Scotland should have been of benefit as it allowed the 22-year-old to gain valuable game time. Robson has come through the ranks at his hometown club and has impressed many who have seen him play. At 22, the midfielder now needs to show he is capable of playing regularly for the first team.
Teenager Mumba began last season in the starting 11. At just 16, he played the full 90 minutes on the opening day against Charlton Athletic. He went on to play the next two games before becoming a bit-part player. Now 17, the talented midfielder still has time on his side; however, he is highly thought of and could have a very bright future. With Jack Ross looking to give more game time to his youngsters, Mumba could benefit.