clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

2015/2016 Player Ratings: Midfielders & Attackers

With the season now over, we give ratings out of ten for each of Sunderland's players. If you missed our feature on the goalkeepers and defenders, click here. Today, Gav rates the midfielders and attackers that have featured in a Sunderland shirt in this campaign.

Nigel Roddis/Getty Images

Fabio Borini - 7

I'll admit, for much of this season I wondered just why we even bothered spending as much money and time as we did in order to bring Fabio back to Sunderland. I wasn't completely onboard with the transfer initially anyways, as I felt we were basically his last, only resort, and that he wasn't even particularly keen to be here.

And for much of the season, he definitely played that way. He huffed and puffed and worked hard as he always does but his impact upon the side wasn't actually felt until the Crystal Palace home game, where Borini scored an absolute screamer in the last minute in order to win his side a vital point. He celebrated in front of his manager in order to prove that he was making a mistake in not selecting him, and Sam took notice.

His impact towards the end of the season was decent, particularly in the game down at Norwich which was perhaps our most vital win of the season. Fingers crossed Fabio goes away with Italy at the Euros and gets his chance, because he might return to Wearside a more rounded and mature player.

Lee Cattermole - 7

Like Fabio Borini, I felt that Lee Cattermole was one of our most under-performing players in the opening stages of the season and he was vasty outshone by Yann M'Vila, but to his credit he took the responsibility of leading the dressing room on and his performances improved from January onwards.

I've no idea whether or not Lee figures in Sam Allardyce's plans for next season, but I hope he does. He just has to ensure he doesn't start yet another season slowly. The competition for places next term will be far greater than it has been in recent years and, if we do sign Yann M'Vila permanently, it makes it tougher to see just how much game time he might get down the line. We'll wait and see I guess.

Jordi Gomez - 2

We lost every game he started this season, including Bournemouth away, where he was taken off at half time. Awful. Hopefully we shift him on sharpish - he's done well at Blackburn and I doubt he'll be short of suitors at that level.

Lynden Gooch - 6

Did very well in the one half of football he did play for the first team, against Exeter in the cup. Started plenty games when away on loan at Doncaster and only returned because of injury. I've got high hopes for the lad, he's very talented.

Rees Greenwood - 6

Played only once for the first team, against Watford, but he did alright I thought. He played a part in both our goals down there, and despite being very young he didn't look overly phased with the occasion. He has been the outstanding performer in the U21s this season, and I get the feeling we'll see alot more of this boy over the coming years.

George Honeyman - 5

Didn't get a great deal of time to impress for the first team this season but for the reserves he has been fantastic.

Wahbi Khazri - 8

Hard working, energetic, always looks to create and has an infectious attitude towards playing. He was great on his debut at Manchester City, made a huge difference at Anfield when we snatched a point and then scored goals in crucial wins against Manchester United and Chelsea. He's going to be a hell of a player for us next season, mark my words.

Jan Kirchhoff - 9

Absolutely quality. I am quite confident that he could play in any team in the country, he's that good.

I don't recall him having a single bad game since his horror debut away at Spurs, which I put down to poor tactical management on Sam Allardyce's part - he threw Kirchhoff into a situation he was nowhere near ready for. Such is Jan's quality, however, that he immediately picked himself up and established himself as one of the best central midfielders in the Premier League.

We NEED to get him tied down to a longer contract. I fear for his future at Sunderland beyond this summer if we don't.

Seb Larsson - 6

Solid, if not unspectacular - though Seb Larsson has started very few games this season, missing a large chunk of it through injury, he's played his part I feel.

Towards the end of the season he was Sam's trusted midfield option from the bench that would come on and ensure we stayed organised and resolute whilst trying to hold a lead. Sadly, I think his time here is up - he deserves to be playing more regularly and we simply cannot offer that sort of assurance to him.

Jeremain Lens - 2

As brilliant as that goal against West Ham was, and as well as he played against Watford on the final day of the season, he just has not been good enough. For eight million pounds you expect far more than what we've gotten from him. His attitude has been shocking both on and off the pitch and you get the feeling he'd much rather be picking up a big wage at a club where there is far less pressure on him to actually work hard, and I understand that - playing for Sunderland isn't easy.

Yann M'Vila - 9

Completely above and beyond what I expected he'd be like for us. We were warned that he was a big time Charlie with a bad attitude but I've seen anything but throughout his time here. Despite barely playing for over a year in Russia, and despite a lack of a pre-season, M'Vila has played in all but one of our league games this season, and he collected only one yellow card along the way. Impressive really, considering he's a defensive midfielder that relies upon intercepting and tackling - I guess it shows just how good he is.

I'm crossing every finger and toe in the hope that he comes back next season. He's been the backbone of our team throughout the year, and who knows just how good he could be after resting up and having a proper pre-season behind him.

Jack Rodwell - 3

I still can't get over the fact we've never won a game that he's started. I know most stats are bollocks, but I just cannot ignore it.

I also cannot ignore the fact we paid ten million quid for him. I don't actually think he'll leave in the summer but he really needs to have a 'come to Jesus' moment and realise he's not performing anywhere near as well as he is expected to. He showed against Watford that he can do it, and he was preferred to Lee Cattermole in the most recent Derby game, which says alot to me.

The talent is there, but will he ever realise it? I'm not sure. I feel we might have to part ways and perhaps realise it just wasn't meant to be. Jack isn't going to start many games next season and at this stage of his career he really needs to be playing regular football.

Ola Toivonen - 1

Pointless signing. Next.

Duncan Watmore - 7

Very good. Duncan was just hitting his stride when he got injured after Christmas and upon his return he made a massive impact in the Norwich game which effectively changed the tide at the bottom of the division. He was brilliant down at Watford too. I'm excited to see how he develops next season - don't forget, he's actually a centre forward by trade. I wonder if we'll see him play more there?

Steven Fletcher - 5

Volley against Newcastle aside, Steven Fletcher did very little this season and I wasn't surprised that he was shipped out of the club in January, despite us being relatively short on striking options. Sam said himself that he felt it was important that we moved out 'the badduns' in that window and attributes it as one of the reasons we stayed up, and Fletcher's questionable attitude just wasn't needed around at a time when we had to create a strong team bond.

He's out of contract this summer and I can't pretend that I'm disappointed.

Danny Graham - 2

Nobody should ever be subjected to watching Danny Graham play left wing in the Premier League.

Dame N'Doye - 3

Nobody should ever be subjected to watching Dame N'Doye play left wing in the Premier League.

Jermain Defoe - 9

Absolutely outstanding. Consider the fact that he started the campaign out on the wing under Advocaat, and only started playing as a striker regularly once Sam Allardyce came in - how on earth did he end up with eighteen goals this season? After Christmas he scored goals by the boatload, often in games where he would only get one or two chances.

The bloke is absolute quality and I don't care about his age, we have to build around him next year and ensure we are fielding a team that is moulded to supply him with goal-scoring opportunities.

Agree or disagree? Leave your comments below!

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Roker Report Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Sunderland news from Roker Report