clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

With a raft of players set to leave SAFC in the coming weeks, who will you miss the most?

Our relegation to the Championship will see a complete transformation of our squad, with many set to depart this summer - but who of these first-team stalwarts will you miss the most once they're gone?

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

Name: Fabio Borini

Position: Striker/Right Midfielder

Appearances: 93

Goals: 17

Linked with: AC Milan, Lazio, Bologna, Celtic

We often get players on loan here that have an unbelievable season with us and then, with Sunderland being Sunderland, we don’t push the boat out in order to sign them up once their deal expires. However, Borini was one of those that we did sign permanently - with hindsight in mind, perhaps we shouldn’t have bothered.

The Italian was a fan’s favourite during the 13/14 season, grabbing goals in some important matches including both games against Newcastle and the League Cup quarter-final, semi-final and the final. His stellar season saw him take the crown for Sunderland’s Young Player of the Year.

Borini originally opted to stay at Liverpool following his loan at the Stadium of Light, but lack of game time saw him permanently sign for us in August 2015 for £8 million - a figure which now looks rather absurd.

Chelsea v Sunderland - Premier League Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

The 26-year-old only got worse from there and David Moyes’ appointment saw him endure his worst spell at the club yet. He had gone from a hero to one of the most disliked players in the team - and that’s saying something.

It is clear that both Borini himself and the fans would both prefer him to leave this summer and he has plenty of options, with interest coming from Celtic as well as clubs in Italy. However, the forward is waiting for Serie A giants AC Milan to make a move - an idea which is rather laughable.


Name: Lamine Kone

Position: Central Defender

Appearances: 46

Goals: 4

Linked with: West Ham, West Brom, Everton

Kone has only been with us for eighteen months but it hasn’t half been interesting.

After several failed attempts to sign the Ivorian from French side Lorient we finally got our man and he arrived on Wearside in the January of 2016. The towering defender massively impressed under Sam Allardyce and he became a reliable, rock-like figure at the back for us at a time when we were shipping goals for fun.

Sunderland v Manchester United - Premier League Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

After an absolutely outstanding debut season Kone, like many others, lost his way under David Moyes - though it would be unfair to pin the blame solely on the now former-Sunderland manager. As inept as Moyes was, Kone's effort levels notably dropped over the course of the season and you never got the impression that he particularly wanted to be here.

It is looking likely that Kone will stay in the Premier League following his inevitable departure, with the likes of West Ham and West Brom supposedly keen on the defender.


Name: John O'Shea

Position: Central Defender

Appearances: 216

Goals: 3

Linked with: Wolverhampton Wanderers

John O’Shea has played a key role in our side throughout his time at the club since his arrival from Manchester United in 2011.

And whilst he tends not to stand out in games O'Shea was often an unsung hero, making few mistakes and helping prevent multiple chances. He is the veteran in the dressing room who is often there to cover for any injuries, but in fact on many occasions he has proven himself more reliable than the likes of Kone and Djilobodji.

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

Whilst the Republic of Ireland international wasn't listed on Sunderland's retained list that was released a fortnight ago it was reported by the Evening Chronicle that he had been offered a new deal, although whether or not he accepts a short-term deal from the club probably hinges on what happens with our managerial situation.

If O'Shea does leave it'll be a shame to see him go but I hope that, in the event that he does, we are able to bring in some young talent who are as determined and passionate as he has been throughout his tenured stay here on Wearside.


Name: Sebastian Larsson

Position: Central Midfielder

Appearances: 203

Goals: 14

Linked with: Trabzonspor

Larsson - like John O'Shea - has apparently been offered a new deal by the club, though it would be fair to assume that he is the more likely of the two to move on from Sunderland this summer.

The former Arsenal midfielder signed for the club at the age of 26 and having now just turned 32, it appears that he has been struggling to keep up with the quality that Premier League football needs as he has grown older.

The Swede became a first team regular under Steve Bruce and continued his impressive form following the former Man United player’s departure. Larsson became well known early on for his free-kicks, often claiming us vital points with his knack for set pieces.

However, of recent time the midfielder has gone downhill, struggling to maintain the form that saw him receive the Supporter’s Player of the Year award in 2015.

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

Larsson’s last goal converted from a free-kick came in December 2014, but for some strange reason everyone bar Sunderland fans seem to think he is Dimitri Payet when it comes to curling it round the wall.

It won't be a shock to see Larsson leave as last season he made more mistakes for the side than he did good, as well as having a spectacular effort at attempting to receive a yellow card in every game he played in.

Despite the Swedish international struggling over the last couple of the seasons, he has still received Premier League interest, with Brighton keen to bring him to the South coast.

Poll

Which of these players will you miss the most once they leave the club?

This poll is closed

  • 16%
    Sebastian Larsson
    (96 votes)
  • 57%
    John O'Shea
    (342 votes)
  • 7%
    Fabio Borini
    (47 votes)
  • 18%
    Lamine Kone
    (112 votes)
597 votes total Vote Now