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The 2016/2017 Half-Term Ratings Report - Goalkeepers & Midfielders

Having reached the half-way mark in the current Premier League campaign, it's time to give out our reports to the Sunderland players. Today, we score the goalkeepers and midfielders that have played their part so far this season.

Sunderland v Watford - Premier League Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Goalkeepers

Vito Mannone: C -

After starting the season as David Moyes' first choice between the sticks, Vito Mannone played just two league games before succumbing to an unfortunate injury in training and has since found himself back on the bench behind the irreplaceable Jordan Pickford.

Vito was actually very solid in the Manchester City game on the opening day of the season, and can't be held accountable for the goals that we conceded against Middlesbrough, but it's hard to give him much more than an average mark when he's played only a minor amount of football.

Jordan Pickford: A

Jordan Pickford has been nothing short of outstanding since becoming our number one back in August, and the only thing that has stopped him from earning an A+ is the fact that he's not kept as many clean sheets as we'd have liked him to, though bar his error in the Southampton away game he's not really put a foot (or hand) wrong.

He's forced his way into the England squad and Sunderland will surely face a barrage of big money offers for the lad from Washington in the upcoming January transfer window.


Midfielders

Lee Cattermole: D -

When Lee Cattermole is fully fit he is an absolutely massive asset to our football club but, sadly, he's played just one full game in the Premier League this season and has spent the majority of this term on the treatment table.

In recent years Sunderland have been heavily reliant on him as we search for survival towards the end of the season and it looks as though that we're going to have to try and do it this time around without him.

Jason Denayer: B -

I have to admit that I have been pleasantly surprised by Jason Denayer since he stepped into the centre of midfield, particularly considering that we expected him to amount to nothing more than being a back up central defender when he was signed on loan from Manchester City in the summer.

Denayer suffered a little blip in the game against Swansea but has more often than not been one of our top performers and the hope is that he can continue his good form throughout the rest of the season. With Didier Ndong heading off to the African Cup of Nations and a whole host of other players out injured, there's now going to be a huge amount of responsibility resting on the shoulders of Denayer to be Sunderland's linchpin in the centre of the park.

Lynden Gooch: C -

This really should have been the time for Lynden Gooch to stamp his mark upon the Sunderland first team squad but his season has since been curtailed by an unfortunate injury that is likely to keep him off the pitch for the majority of the remainder of the season.

Having impressed suitably down at Manchester City and again in the defeat to Middlesbrough, Gooch slowly found himself out of David Moyes plans before succumbing to a bad injury in a game playing for the U23s side against Tottenham Hotspur in November.

Had he remained fit he would have most definitely have been starting games in the coming month and hopefully, by the time he returns to training in March, he'll be able to step right back in and make an impact towards the final stages of the Premier League season.

Steven Pienaar: D

I feel somewhat for Pienaar, because when he arrived here in August nobody could have guessed just how many games he would end up starting, and out of position too. This - combined with his age, injuries and disciplinary record - hasn't helped him at all and his performances have suffered as a result.

Wahbi Khazri: D -

Quite what has happened/is going on with Wahbi Khazri is a mystery to all of us, although it's probably safe to suspect that he's had a falling out with the manager. The only half decent showing from him thus far was against West Brom at home - in fairness, his form has clearly been affected by his lack of playing time.

Jack Rodwell: D -

Jack Rodwell is the ultimate 'meh' player - I've no idea what he's supposed to be good at. He started pretty much every game between August and the end of October and since leaving the side due to an injury, we've won four games. It's probably not a coincidence.

Didier Ndong: C+

I actually really like Didier Ndong and we'll see just how much he's missed over the course of January when he heads off to take part in the Cup of Nations with Gabon. His work rate and pressing is superb but his passing is often erratic. Once he manages to improve that, along with his disciplinary record, he'll prove to be a real asset to our side.

Jan Kirchhoff: D -

To call his season so far 'disappointing' would probably be an understatement. He's been constantly injured and, bar his second half cameo against Leicester, he's been very poor in the games that he has played in.

You can sort of see now why he wasn't given a new contract in the summer.

Paddy McNair: D -

McNair struggled tremendously earlier in the campaign and just as he was finding his feet he picked up a very serious knee injury which is likely to keep him out for the rest of the season.

Sebastian Larsson: D

Having missed the majority of games through injury, Larsson returned to the first team in the second half of the Leicester City home fixture and played his part in turning around the result, setting up the opening goal of the game.

Other than that, though, it's been pretty poor - his showings against Swansea and Chelsea left very little to be desired, and the hope is that he can step it up in January as we seek to fill the void left behind by the absence of Didier Ndong.