I must admit - I’m bitter every time I hear his name.
The best striker Sunderland have seen since Kevin Phillips alongside Jermain Defoe, Bent was prolific as a poacher under Steve Bruce before leaving for a big-money move to Aston Villa that did anything but advance his career.
Bent played some of his best football at Sunderland and Charlton, winning Player of the Year at both clubs as well as representing England. Now a free agent at 34 after a loan spell last season with Burton Albion, the forward who is in the Premier League 100 club would be a great signing for a lower end Championship side.
Sunderland: 63 games, 36 goals. Charlton: 77 games, 36 goals.
Andy Reid may have looked like a Sunday league pub player, but he possessed an absolute wand of a left foot.
The former Spurs man was relegated with Charlton where his form then earned him a £5m move to the Black Cats. The Irish winger played his best football for Sunderland in the 2008/09 season, lining up alongside the likes of Djibril Cisse and Steed Malbranque as we survived relegation under interim manager Ricky Sbragia. Fondly remembered by both sets of fans, Reid retired in 2016 and now works with the Republic of Ireland U18s side.
Sunderland: 80 games, 6 goals. Charlton: 40 games, 9 goals.
Tal Ben Haim
Anyone else forget thathe existed? It’s bizarre that he played European football for both Chelsea and Manchester City!
Brought to England by Sam Allardyce, Ben Haim was solid to Bolton during their prime Premier League years. His loan spell at Sunderland was rather fruitless, as I (like many) remember the Israeli centre-half as particularly slow, and careless on the ball.
His spell at Charlton only lasted one season, although he was a first team regular as the Addicks finished mid-table in the Championship. Appearing for the Israeli National team 94 times, Ben Haim has had an impressive career, making over 148 Premier League appearances for 7 different clubs.
Sunderland: (Loan) 5 games, 0 goals. Charlton: 38 games, 0 goals.
A wanted man with many Championship clubs trying to lure him away from Ipswich, I cannot help but feel Waghorn was one that got away.
The South Shields-born forward made his debut against Manchester United at just 17, and was highly thought of by then manager Roy Keane. His first loan spell was at Charlton, where he scored his first senior goal in a season that saw the club relegated to League One.
Waghorn struggled for game time at Sunderland and was sold to Leicester for £3m in order to help raise funds to sign Ghanaian striker Asamoah Gyan. Now 28, the striker has recently reignited his career in English football through his goal scoring form for Ipswich and is a strong contender for the Championship golden boot this year.
Sunderland: 8 games, 0 goals. Charlton: (Loan) 7 games, 1 goal.
Last - and certainly least in terms of talent - we have a goalkeeper who has never really lived up to the potential he had as a young player. Capped by England at youth level, Alnwick played a minor part in Sunderland’s 03/04 promotion campaign as well as making 5 Premier League appearances whilst still a teenager.
After being dropped by Roy Keane in favour of Darren Ward, Alnwick was sold to Spurs in a swap deal for Marton Fulop. Consistently failing to find minutes at Spurs, the stopper became a journeyman, with short spells at numerous clubs - including Charlton, where he only lasted 6 months. Alnwick is now first choice at Bolton, where he has enjoyed something of a resurgence and was voted Player of the Year last season.
Sunderland: 20 games, 4 clean sheets. Charlton: 12 games, 3 clean sheets.