So we decided to have a look at our top ten modern day wingers who have pulled on the red and white stripes. Blatant cashing in? You bet! So here we go...
10. Ross Wallace
Ross was a curious little one. Undoubtedly a talented, tricky winger, who has the ability to beat and his man and certainly had an eye for a goal. However his time on Wearside was also besieged with injury and a number of needless bookings for some over exuberance following a freekick or two which only served to enrage Roy Keane, something which is never a good idea. In fact it would ultimately be Wallace's poor disciplinary record which would see him transfer listed, an impressive seven yellow cards and two reds from twenty-one starts, shame really as he was a talented little buggar when he was eligible to play.
9. Martin Smith
Peter Reid's arrival on Wearside also coincided with the beginning of my own real relationship with the club as my father finally relented and agreed to take me to Roker Park. At that time there was one real bright spark on show who had the ability to captivate and delight the crowd - Martin Smith. Rather preposterously dubbed the "Son of Pele" Martin did indeed have a fantastic left foot and put in a series of important performances from which his goals went a long way to "saving" the club at that time - including a priceless winner over fellow strugglers Swindon.
Ultimately Martin would never really fulfil his potential and while Sunderland moved on to the Premier League Smith would go on to carve out a career in the lower leagues. Last seen playing five-a-side in the leisure centre, true story.
8. Carlos Edwards
The Rolls Royce joined Roy Keane's Sunderland side in the January transfer window of 2007, apparently coming highly recommended by Sir Alex Ferguson. The right winger took little time settling in to his new club and his performances were key to Sunderland's surge up the league which ultimately ended in promotion. Edwards managed five goals following his transfer including that stunning strike against Burnley at the Stadium of Light which will live long in the memory of all SAFC fans that were in attendance to witness Carlos' screamer.
Edwards would unfortunately struggle to feature much in the top flight as his career was dogged by a number of serious injuries. The following summer saw further recruitment on Wearside which in turn would see the Trinidadian fall further down the club's pecking order before moving to Wolves.
7. Peter Beagrie
Peter Beagrie is somewhat of a cult hero and all round favourite here at Roker Report especially with Simon Walsh. Having joined from Everton on loan Beagrie would only make five appearances in the red and white shirt, finding the back of the net once. The winger was a revelation on Wearside, showcasing his obvious abilities much to the delight of the Roker Park faithful. If anything Beagrie showed off his talents a little too much as it wasn't long before he packed up his somersaults and headed off to Maine Road, not that Beagrie was ever one to hang around the same club for long.
6. Sebastian Larsson
Sebastian Larsson on a free is a deal that screamed superb value. At the time Sunderland were a side devoid of goals from midfield and absolutely zero threat from set pieces. The sexy Swede changed all that in one swift bosman. While Seb may not be the touchline hugging traditional style winger his vision and delivery from that right boot of his is arguably comparable to some of the more established names that you will find a little further up this list. A real bargain.
Despite only having made his debut for Sunderland following Steve Bruce's departure from the club in December this young Irishman flourished having finally been released from his shackles and quickly established himself as one of the main attacking threats in Sunderland's arsenal. McClean was an exciting breath of fresh air which epitomised the revitalised feeling of hope new boss Martin O'Neill brought with him to the club and whilst he still has much to learn about the rigours of the top flight there would be few SAFC fans that would bet against him becoming a key player for the club for years to come.
4. Steed Malbranque
Mention this chain-smoking little Belgian magician's name on Wearside and you can guarantee it will never fail to raise a smile. Malbranque instantly won the hearts of the Sunderland fans with his brand of mesmerising attacking football, often leaving opposition players on their backside as he jinked past them with astonishing ease. The little winger's career took a turn for the bizarre when distasteful rumours of an apparent illness to a son he never had surfaced. Steed has recently returned to action with the club where he began his career - Lyon.
3. Stan Cummins
Cummins joined Sunderland from Middlesbrough in 1979 as a club-record signing of £300,000 as a 20-year-old highly rated winger. Until Keiran Richardson rifled home that freekick against Newcastle it was Stan who held the honour of being the last player to score a winner against our arch-rivals, a record which had stood for a heartbreaking twenty-eight years.
A lot of what Sunderland did well at that time came through Stan and his magic feet on the wing who could breeze past his opponent with staggering ease and also chipped in with goals rather than just provide the assists.
2. Nick Summerbee
We're huge fans of Nick here at Roker Report, well given that he pens an occasional piece for the site we're contractually obliged to praise the former wing wizard at every given opportunity. Luckily enough he was actually pretty damn good. Summerbee patrolled that right wing with his own distinct style, just needing to pinch half a yard on the fullback to be able to swing in laser precise crosses straight onto the forehead of either Quinn of Phillips. Goals guaranteed. Unfortunately Summerbee's spell with Sunderland was cut short following a falling out with Reid. Speaking of which...
1. Allan Johnston
Whilst Summerbee ambled up and down the right wing, his opposite number on the other flank was a different kind of threat entirely for the opposition. Johnston was pure magic. Capable of hitting the by-line or cutting in on to his right foot to devastating effect. Alan was the kind of winger that not only bamboozled his marker but also kept the Sunderland fans on their toes with his unpredictability. Forging a superb partnership and understanding with Micky Gray, Sunderland's left wing at the time as a joy to behold and could always be relied upon to provide chances as well as goals.
Who gets your vote for our best Winger of the modern era? Leave a comment, cast your vote in the poll below... We exist to be shouted at.