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Sunderland new lads handed shirt nos; one key jersey remains vacant – hint of another to come?

Sunderland’s trio of deadline day signings have been given their shirt numbers ahead of the league campaign resuming this weekend. But one notable jersey remains vacant - highlighting the position which Simon Grayson still needs to strengthen.

Sunderland v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Ahead of Saturday’s game against Sheffield United, Sunderland’s deadline day signings have been handed their squad numbers for the season.

Defender Marc Wilson will wear the number 36 shirt, but here’s a quiz question for you - who was the last Black Cats player to wear that one?

Well, we reckon the 36 jersey hasn’t been worn by a Sunderland player since the great Nathan Luscombe departed in 2011. The former Black Cats youngster went on to play for Hartlepool United before being released to see out his days in the Northern League.

Sunderland vs Cobh Ramblers
The famous number 36 shirt - no one has donned it since Nathan Luscombe left six years ago
Photo by Patrick Bolger/Getty Images

Midfielder Jonny Williams inherits the number 7 shirt from Jeremain Lens who is now plying his trade for Besiktas in Turkey. Before that, the ‘lucky’ jersey was worn by Sebastian Larsson for six successive seasons.

The Swede is now with Hull City after departing the Stadium of Light at the end of the season. Larsson is presently earning rave reviews for his showing for Sweden on Sunday as Belarus were despatched by four-goals-to-nil. The Swedish coach Janne Andersson described the 32-year-old’s showing as the “sweatiest” he’s seen in a long time.

Before Larsson, number seven was owned by Boudewijn Zenden for a couple of seasons, and before him Carlos Edwards. Michael Gray and Nicky Summerbee are also previous luminaries to have worn the half-dozen-plus-one on their backs.

Nicky Summerbee of Sunderland
Nicky Summerbee once wore number seven
Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Winger Callum McManaman dares to don the number thirteen for this campaign in a surprise move.

Traditionally reserved for goalkeepers, the ‘unlucky’ jersey has been worn by Jordan Pickford for the last few years and before him, fellow stoppers Darren Ward, Ben Alnwick, Michael Ingham, Andy Marriot and David Preece have all fumbled around in the infamous thirteen.

Arsenal v Sunderland - Premier League
Jordan Pickford wore number thirteen last season
Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

With the departure of Wahbi Khazri, Sunderland now have no player wearing the number ten shirt. Is that a sign that Simon Grayson is busy finalising a deal to bring in another forward or playmaker on a free any day now? Fingers crossed.

Sunderland’s full list of squad numbers now reads thus:

1 Jason Steele

2 Billy Jones

3 Bryan Oviedo

4 Patrick McNair

6 Lee Cattermole

7 Jonny Williams

8 Jack Rodwell

9 James Vaughan

11 Lewis Grabban

12 Mika Domingues

13 Callum McManaman

14 Duncan Watmore

15 Brendan Galloway

16 John O’Shea

17 Didier NDong

18 Tyias Browning

19 Aiden McGeady

20 Josh Maja

21 Adam Matthews

22 Donald Love

23 Lamine Kone

24 Darron Gibson

25 Robbin Ruiter

26 George Honeyman

27 Lynden Gooch

28 Ethan Robson

29 Joel Asoro

36 Marc Wilson

40 Elliot Embleton

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