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ONES THAT GOT AWAY: How are the players that never signed for Sunderland this summer getting on?

Sunderland were linked with a plethora of players during the summer transfer window. Here’s a look at six of those names, where they ended up, and how they’re doing at their new clubs.

Bristol City v Cheltenham Town - Pre-Season Friendly Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

George Evans

Manchester City’s former youth team captain was supposedly closer to joining the club than any other player on this list. Reports suggested that a fee, personal terms and medical were all agreed until Frank Lampard’s Derby County turned the 24-year-old’s head.

It hasn’t really worked out for Evans so far, though. As Derby sit in the Championship play-off spots, he’s had to make do with just 117 minutes of first team football due to a painful knee injury that kept him out until the beginning of August. Since his return to fitness at the beginning of October, he’s yet to appear for the high-flying Rams.

Missing out on the midfielder meant Jack Ross instead opted for the loan signing of Max Power, who - red cards aside - has looked like a player capable of making a real difference at this level.

Whilst someone with Evans’ height would have undoubtedly offered us something extra in middle of the park, the resurgence of Sunderland stalwart Lee Cattermole coupled with the steady improvement in form of Dylan McGeough has ensured that central midfield has been one of our strongest positions on the field so far this season.

Oldham Athletic v Derby County - Carabao Cup First Round Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Mo Eisa

Following a free-scoring season for Cheltenham Town in League Two, Stewart Donald put a seven figure bid in for the Sudanese striker during the summer but was blown out of the water by ambitious Bristol City’s £2.25 million offer.

As it is, the striker has yet to repay any of that fee because Eisa has struggled to impress down in Gloucestershire and has barely featured. He’s yet to score, and instead the likes of Frederic Diedhiou are ahead of him in the pecking order down at Ashton Gate.

To be fair to Eisa, however, he did have a six week lay off earlier in the season and is only returning to full fitness as we speak. He’ll be hoping to return in better form than he began the season in, though, proving to everyone why he arrived in Bristol with such a glowing reputation.

Bristol City v Cheltenham Town - Pre-Season Friendly Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Ryan Christie

Another that Jack Ross was very keen on was former Aberdeen loanee Ryan Christie. Struggling for game time at Celtic, it was expected the Scottish international would move on a temporary basis in search of first team football, but, luckily for the Inverness-born midfielder his season has gone from strength to strength up in Glasgow.

Already appearing more frequently this season than he has done in his previous two for Celtic, the midfielder is back in the Scotland squad and celebrated by starting - and scoring - in Celtic’s last three games.

It’s safe to say that perhaps this is one man who made the right choice in knuckling down and remaining with the Scottish champions - though you can’t help but wonder how much of an impact a player of his quality might have made here at Sunderland.

Heart of Midlothian FC v Celtic FC - Betfred Scottish League Cup Semi Final Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Billy Sharp

Is it a really a surprise that a man who has made a very successful career of consistently scoring goals in the Football League has continued to do just that?

Fresh from a hat-trick in midweek, the 32-year-old is flying high at the top of the Championship with Sheffield United and is in great form for his boyhood club - scoring ten goals just twelve appearances.

Sharp is perhaps someone we could have looked at in January had his first team opportunities not improved, but alas it appears Chris Wilder will be keeping hold of his old faithful forward as the Blades push for promotion to the Premier League.

Sheffield United v Swansea City - Sky Bet Championship Photo by George Wood/Getty Images

Florian Kamberi

How close we really were to purchasing the 23-year-old will never fully be known, but alas our last ditch attempt to scupper Hibs to the signing of the Swiss striker ultimately failed.

Its our understanding that Kamberi came to Wearside in order to meet the club and tour our facilities, and that Grasshoppers were keen to do a deal with Sunderland as they stood to make more money from it than if he moved to Neil Lennon’s side.

Moving to the Scottish club on loan last January, Kamberi was an instant hit, smashing nine goals in just fourteen games. Perhaps, then, it was surprising that they left it until the last minute to take up their option to purchase the youngster on a permanent deal.

Whilst our very own Josh Maja has been free-scoring, a look at Kamberi’s form this term shows he rather annoyingly has done pretty well both domestically and in Europe for the Easter Road club, scoring on eight occasions across all competitions.

Hibernian v Aberdeen - Betfred Scottish League Cup Quarter Final Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Anton Forrester

It’s not a name many of you will remember, but the former Port Vale centre forward played as a trialist in Jack Ross’ opening friendly defeat to Darlington all the way back in July.

The 6ft tall Scouse striker failed to impress in his during the game, though, and it’s perhaps no surprise that he is still without a club.

Fingers crossed he finds a team willing to give him a chance.

Northampton Town v Port Vale - Sky Bet League One Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images