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Ellis Short’s 100+ Sunderland Signings: Part III - The list of players is slowly improving...

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Six months on from Ellis Short’s departure, we take on the wondrous task of ranking the 104 signings made during his Sunderland tenure from worst to best. Today, we look at the players ranked 52-25...

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

52: Craig Gardner

Capable of scoring some ridiculous goals and knew how to take a penalty - Gardner was really good with the fans and a very likable lad, but we just wish he had been a better, more consistent midfielder at Sunderland.


51: Seb Coates

Generally useless put possessed the ability to have one good game in five. Played a huge part in our survival mission under Dick Advocaat, but unfortunately that persuaded us to sign him on a permanent basis. Bad idea.


50: Liam Bridcutt

He wasn’t horrendous, but he was well out of his depth. Played like Sergio Busquets on his debut at St. James Park though, which was a bit weird.


49: Carlos Cuellar

I’m blocked by Carlos on Twitter. As a fellow vegan, I’m frankly quite offended.

Sunderland v Newcastle United - Premier League
Steady on a free, but I am blocked on Twitter by him. You’re not forgiven Carlos.
Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

48: DeAndre Yedlin

I actually really liked DeAndre and my abiding memory of him will be the cross that led to Defoe’s winner against Chelsea. He ruined all my affection for him by becoming a Mag though. WE’RE OVER, DEANDRE.


47: Titus Bramble

Hear me out here alright, I know Titus is abnormally high in this list but he was actually really good in the first season we got him, and considering the pressure he was under to perform and the fact he only cost £1m, I think that means he wasn’t that bad in hindsight.


46: Jordi Gomez

I’m still angry at him for missing that sitter at St. James Park to be honest with you, but I’ll let him slide in to the top half based on the fact he scored some important goals, despite the fact he was very slow and often overran.


45: Jeremain Lens

His goal at home to West Ham is one of the best I’ve ever seen for Sunderland, but sadly his attitude and commitment to the club was not in the same class.

Sunderland v West Ham United - Premier League
Lens’ goal against West Ham was ridiculously good.
Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

43: Anthony Réveillère

Imagine if we’d signed him five years earlier? Réveillère was a steady player who did a great job in his short time with the club. He was also terribly handsome.


42: Nedum Onuoha

The Lionel Messi of right-backs was part of a side that picked up some really impressive results, and he once marked Gareth Bale out of a game at White Hart Lane. Like the team, Nedum suffered a dip in form in the second half of the season.


41: David Vaughan

Could never nail down a first team place due to his inconsistency, but considering we paid nothing for him, he turned out alright and scored some absolute peaches - not to mention a beauty against Newcastle that will ensure he lives long in the memory of our supporters.


40: Bryan Oviedo

I’m sure he wouldn’t have expected to suffer two relegations during his time here, but the Costa Rican has stuck around all the same, showing flashes and quality and undoubted commitment to the cause.

Crystal Palace v Sunderland - Premier League Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

39: Adam Matthews

It only took three seasons for the Welshman to actually start a game for the Lads, but once he did he’s been adequate, chipping in with the odd goal or assist. It took a while, but this one seems to have worked out.


38: Connor Wickham

Cared more about his hair and his tattoos then actually playing for the Lads sometimes, but for five games towards the end of Gus Poyet’s first season, he was brilliant. Lost all momentum when he was moved onto the left-wing the season later. One of few players we (somehow) made a profit on.


37: Emmanuel Giaccherini

The little Italian was a player the whole of Wearside was really excited about, but despite some flashes of quality, he was another that just didn’t seem suited to the English game and, sadly, left shortly after arriving without much notice.


36: Costel Pantilimon

The tallest man that ever lived. The Romanian had a very good first season at the club once he dislodged Vito Mannone in the nets. His dip in form coincided with Jordan Pickford’s rise though, and he was sold onto Watford at a small profit.


35. Alan Hutton

The Scottish defender seems to be a bit of a comedy figure at every other club he’s been at (Rangers aside), but Hutton was actually really good for us. Linked up with with his right winger and was more than a steady full back. Shame we couldn’t have got him in long term.


34: Frazier Campbell

A transfer that was ultimately shattered by two huge knee injuries that kept him out of the game for over a year. Who knows what would have happened if he hadn’t had such bad luck.

Sunderland v Norwich City - Premier League
Goal of the month winner.
Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

33: Michael Turner

Not as good as we wanted him to be, but nowhere near as bad as some people recall. Had a wonderfully square head.


32: Paddy McNair

One of three men on this list that suffered a cruciate knee ligament injury, the Northern Irishman returned in fantastic form and was starting to prove many of us wrong. Unfortunately left in the summer, where he now warms the bench at Yorkshire club Middlesbrough.


31: Nicklas Bendtner

A figure of much derision, ‘The Lord’ was actually pretty damn good for us. He brought the best out of Stephane Sessegnon and score eight goals.


30: Steven Fletcher

Brilliant in his first six months at the club, but never returned the same player after suffering injury for Scotland. Always good against the Mags for some reason.

Sunderland v Newcastle United - Premier League
Always played well in derbies.
Photo by Richard Sellers/Getty Images

29: Duncan Watmore

We’re still yet to see if Duncan can return from almost two years out as he feels his way back in Jack Ross’ team. Brought in for a minimal fee from non-league, he was playing in the Premier League regularly before injury struck.


28: Wahbi Khazri

Excellent under Allardyce, ignored under Moyes and simply couldn’t be arsed under Grayson.


27: Victor Anichebe

“Good for the first few months, then he’ll get injured and come back shite” said West Brom and Everton fans. Sadly, we should have listened. Unplayable on his day though.


26: Lamine Kone

An absolute beast for six months, it’s such a shame how the Ivorian’s career at the club went. Still though, he sneaks into number twenty six for relegating the Mags, a memory that will last long in the memory.


25: Wes Brown

He’s big, he’s bad, he’s Wesley Brown, the hardest man in all the town, if he didn’t have a dodgy knee, he wouldn’t have came on a free. Yeah, there’s a reason I don’t invent chants...