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Magnificent Seven - Sunderland's Best January Transfer Window Signings

It may seem like an age away but the January window is actually breathing down our neck. 'Allegedly' we’re skint - but not all of the best buys cost a fortune.

Sunderland v Burnley Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images

Jan Kirchhoff - Signed By Sam Allardyce in 2016 - £750k

I am admittedly Jan Kirchhoff's biggest fan. I absolutely love him and I don’t care who knows it.

Despite a horror performance on his debut at White Hart Lane the big German was the ball-winning, efficient, 'play with a pipe and slippers' type central midfielder that we had wanted all season.

Stoke City v Sunderland - Premier League Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Despite not really kicking on due to fitness issues this campaign, it can’t be underestimated just how important he was under Sam Allardyce - the £750k that the club spent to bring him to Wearside seems like a snip in comparison to the cost of relegation.

Lamine Kone - Signed By Sam Allardyce in 2016 - £5m

It feels like a lifetime ago since the Ivory Coast international was the darling of Sam Allardyce’s extraordinary sole Sunderland transfer window, but from the minute he left Yaya Toure chewing grass in his first appearance for the club he become something of a cult hero.

Despite two thwarted attempts to sign Lamine Kone Sunderland were not deterred and after a third offer was accepted the powerful defender headed across to Wearside as part of our January shake-up, one which would eventually see us stave off relegation have spent much of the season in the bottom three.

Jermain Defoe - Signed By Gus Poyet in 2015 - Swap Deal

The debate around Jermain Defoe's transfer to Sunderland only seemed to exist outside of Wearside - media and fans of other clubs laughed at his enormous wage package, with many believing that Gus Poyet had signed a player for big money that was finished as a top forward.

Now almost exactly two years on he’s continuing to break Premier League goalscoring records, captaining the team and has been spoken about in the same breath as modern-day legends like Kevin Phillips - proof if needed of just how good he has been since arriving on Wearside.

Sunderland v Arsenal - Premier League Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

He’s bought into the city, the fans and the whole club. He’s cried after scoring worldies against Newcastle, he cried after scoring the winner that effectively kept us up and he has shown no signs of slowing down.

The fact that he is our top scorer and assist-maker in what has been a challenging season so far just shows you the undoubtedly quality he has.

Lee Congerton didn't cover himself in glory during his time at the club but most would agree he deserves the key to the city for swapping Jozy Altidore for Jermain Defoe.

Stephane Sessegnon - Signed By Steve Bruce 2011 - £6m

Whilst Stephane’s arrival came towards the end of the Steve Bruce era at Sunderland, he still proved to be a very capable and exciting signing throughout his time on Wearside.

Although it took the best part of two months for him to bed in, he very quickly became our star player - Sess was the type of player that, when at his best, would get you off your feet with a little shimmy or piece of skill.

His best performance for the club arguably came against that lot up in the road in the 0-3 win back in 2013 - it was fantastic to watch their defence shite themselves every time he got the ball.

Andy Reid - Signed By Roy Keane 2008 - £4.5m

Signed by Roy Keane in the winter of 2008, Andy Reid was a cultured footballer remembered as much for his physique as he was for his wand of a left boot.

His exquisite pass to Daryl Murphy on his debut is still fresh in the minds of Sunderland supporters, as is his season-changing 96th minute winner against West Ham.

Sunderland v West Ham United - Premier League Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

His signing gave the team a whole new dimension in midfield and he went on to have a good career at the club, most notably in Steve Bruce’s debut season - a ridiculous chip in a League Cup game away at Norwich City being the example of exactly what Reidy was capable of.

Carlos Edwards - Signed By Roy Keane 2007 - £1.5m

Oh! Oh! Oh my goodness me! That was absolutely amazing!

Carlos Edwards, about 80 yards out, maybe 100. He’s was on the banks of the River Wear!

Carlos Edwards arrived from Luton Town for £1.5m and promptly become one of the main reasons that we went on to be promoted.

Edwards wasn't afraid to shoot and scored some important long-rangers against Birmingham, Southampton and of course - OF COURSE - Burnley in the Friday night Skysports game at the Stadium of Light that saw us achieve an instant return back to the top flight.

With pace to burn and a shot like an arrow, he played his part in transforming Roy Keane’s side from possible play-off contenders to the Championship’s best.

Jonny Evans - Signed by Roy Keane 2007 & 2008 - Loan

It would be hard to disagree with the notion that Jonny Evans was the difference between Sunderland being promoted as Champions and finishing in the middle of the pack, such was his impact back in 2007 when Roy Keane brought him to Wearside on a loan deal from Alex Ferguson's Manchester United.

His performances alongside Nyron Nosworthy in both of his loan spells transformed the back line of the team. Complementing Nuggsy perfectly, Evans was calm, composed and strong.

Sunderland v Portsmouth - Barclays Premier League Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images

His second loan at the club was as important as any of the January signings we’ve made over the years. We went from losing 7-1 at Everton and having to watch Paul McShane and Danny Higginbotham chase thin air to winning on a more regular basis and keeping clean sheets.

His injury before the away game at St. James Park in 2008 devastated fans, who almost knew what the outcome would be without him in the heart of the defence.

In my opinion Jonny Evans is one of the best central defenders in the Premier League and still, I’d kill to have him back once more.