It's that time of the year again when the January transfer window is just starting to appear on the horizon. Indeed, Gus Poyet has already confirmed that he will be using the current international break to meet with Lee Congerton to plan for the winter sales.
What should be the club's policies for their next forage into the transfer market? I'll have a little stab at it here.
No major surgery
I know it's always tempting to rip up the blueprint and start again, especially after what happened against Southampton, but January is rarely the right time for such things. Prices to buy are high and availability tends to be very limited.
Plus, I'm not sure there is really anything terminally wrong with the squad. Injuries have pretty much denied us the services of summer signings Rickie Alvarez and Sebastian Coates so far, so they will probably feel like relatively fresh additions by the time the window swings open.
There is little spectacular about the Sunderland squad but it's solid enough. We are at the point where a little injection of quality in the right areas will go a long way.
Sort out the strikers situation
Steven Fletcher has roared back into form this season (if that's what you can call scoring in two games), but it's not looking great elsewhere in terms of strikers.
Jozy Altidore looks no closer to delivering and god knows what is going on with Connor Wickham's contract situation. If that's still lingering come January, I'd say it was a fairly clear indication that he isn't going to be playing much of a part in the club's future past this summer.
Fabio Borini has been linked again, and it's obvious to see why. You just wonder though whether what Sunderland need up front is something a little different. For all Borini would be an excellent signing, he would just be more of the same really in terms of style of play. The addition of some pace and power would be extremely welcome.
Dare we dream of another left back?
Patrick van Aanholt has been one of the signings of the season as far as I'm concerned, not just for Sunderland but in the whole of the Premier League. However, his injury has shown just how light we are in the left back position. Some things never change, eh?
Anthony Reveillere deputised very well against Everton, but with the wingers often inverted in Poyet's system, ideally you want some natural balance from the full backs.
Is there another Marcos Alonso out there? We certainly need someone I'd say.
Nothing wrong with loan deals
Loan deals tend to be frowned upon these days by fans, and I can kind of understand why. You almost feel like you have to hold yourself back from getting attached and then feel your side is in constant need of rebuilding when they leave, as we found out last summer following the departures of Borini, Ki, and Alonso.
January is a good time for loan deals, though. Loan fees are less and a little more quality willing to go a little further down the league. With Coates the only loan from a Premier League rival so far, the club do have the option of a second domestic loan and should be very keen to use it.
Sell what we can - but only for a purpose
I'm not sure how many genuinely sellable assets Sunderland have in the squad, but Poyet and Congerton shouldn't be afraid of moving many on. Jozy Altidore looks pretty certain to leave, you'd say, and there seems to be some real interest in Emanuele Giaccherini from Italy.
In Altidore's case, it's a no-brainer. Get what we can for him and move him on. I'd be tempted to accept a decent offer for Giacch too, to be honest. Only, though, if it was specifically done to free up some money to add some genuine pace to the side.
What position would be your January priority for Sunderland? Have your say by voting in our poll and in the comments box below.