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Sunderland’s TWENTY most expensive signings of all time: 10-1!

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It’s transfer season - and, with that in mind, we look back at which players Sunderland have spent the most coin on over the years. Today we’re running down from 10 to 1!

Fulham v Sunderland - FA Cup Fourth Round Replay Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

10. Craig Gordon - £9m from Hearts

What did they say?

“He’s a top goalkeeper and he will be a massive asset for us over the next few years.” - Roy Keane

Games played/Goals scored...

91 games, 0 goals.

What was his resale value?

£0. We made diddly-squat and he didn’t play football for two years before reappearing for Celtic in the Champions League and winning just about everything he could. Ugh.

How he rated?

Well he made the greatest save in Premier League history and was well liked on Wearside, so you have to say Gordon did a solid job on Wearside.

Horrendously unlucky with injuries were coupled with Simon Mignolet emerging as a top class goalkeeper at the same time, which stifled his time at the club.

Where is he now?

His career is winding down now at the age of 36, although he is still involved at Celtic as back up to current Scotland number one Scott Bain.

Sunderland v Aston Villa - Carling Cup 4th Round Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

9. Jeremain Lens - £9m from Dynamo Kiev

What did they say?

“I watched the derby against Newcastle United and the supporters were really amazing, so I’ve got a good impression of the fans and I hope they support us in the same way during the new season.” - Jeremain Lens

Games played/Goals scored...

24 games, 7 goals.

What was his resale value?

Not enough. For a player who we purchased in his prime, and a full Holland international, the fact he left at a loss of about £5m is a disgrace really, from both his and the club’s perspective.

How he rated?

When he was on form, his pace was electric and his finishing as classy as they come. The problem? He only did it when he could be bothered, which meant once his pal Dick Advocaat left, he was a forlorn figure. Another complete mercenary.

Where is he now?

He remains in Turkey with Besiktas, the club he moved to back in 2017.

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

8. Ricardo Alvarez - £9.4m from Inter Milan

What did they say?

“I have had the chance to speak with Poyet on a couple of occasions and he spoke to be about his desire and how keen he was to have me here. That made me very hopeful and I can wait to get training with the rest of the squad.” - Ricky Alvarez

Games played/Goals scored...

17 games, 1 goal.

What was his resale value?

This one is going to make you scream. We paid £9.4m for a player that we didn’t even sign, basically. Cheers Congers!

How he rated?

Baring a quality goal against Championship opposition on a cold night at Craven Cottage, he was all flatulence and no feces. More step-overs than a Backstreet Boys backing dancer.

Where is he now?

He originally joined Sampdoria on a free transfer whilst Martin Bain and Inter Milan argued about what we owed them, before heading to South America where he is currently playing for Club Atlas in the Liga MX. Sunderland were the last club to pay a transfer fee for his services - for God’s sake.

Soccer - FA Cup - Fifth Round - Bradford City v Sunderland - Valley Parade

7. Jack Rodwell - £10m from Man City

What did they say?

“Regular football is the most important thing for me. This is a great place for me to be.” Jack Rodwell.

Games played/Goals scored...

76 games, 7 goals.

What was his resale value?

£0 as expected. The biggest surprise was that anyone even wanted him.

How he rated?

Pound for pound the worst signing we have ever made. Absolutely useless in every sense of the word. The thought of him in a red and white shirt literally sends shivers down my spine.

Where is he now?

He’s a free agent again after seemingly not signing a new contract at Blackburn Rovers. Linked to Panathanikos. Will clubs ever learn?

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6. Wahbi Khazri - £10m

What did they say?

”Wahbi is a dynamic attacking player with the ability to score goals. I am delighted to welcome him to the club.” - Sam Allardyce

Games played/Goals scored...

43 games, 3 goals.

What was his resale value?

Nobody really knows as he left for an undisclosed fee, but we can assume we lost at least £4m minimum.

How he rated?

Brilliant in his first six months, then David Moyes happened and it all fell apart. Shame really as the Tunisian showed some real ability when he was afforded a chance.

Where is he now?

The winger moved back to Ligue One last year, signing permanently for Saint-Étienne where he currently plays alongside Yann M’Vila. *wipes tears*

Sunderland v Manchester United - Premier League Photo by Ian Horrocks - Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

5. Darren Bent - £10m from Spurs

What did they say?

“He has 50 goals in 100 Premier League starts and that speaks volumes about why we are bringing him to the club.

”He’s had the competition of the likes of (Dimitar) Berbatov, (Jermain) Defoe and (Robbie) Keane, but he has still scored goals when he’s been given games.” - Steve Bruce

Games played/Goals scored...

63 games, 36 goals.

What was his resale value?

Although it was rumoured Bent cost us almost £16m once all his add-ons hit, we still made a minimum of £18m as he joined Aston Villa for a cool £24m.

How he rated?

You can’t deny Darren Bent was phenomenal for the club, he smashed in goal after goal after goal and, had he not left in the way he did, he’d be spoken about in legendary terms. The most lethal finisher at the Stadium of Light since Kevin Phillips.

Where is he now?

Darren Bent leaving Sunderland began a downward spiral for both the club and player. His move to Villa never really worked once Gerard Houllier left and after spells at Fulham, Brighton, Derby County and Burton he called time on his career this summer. His final goal in professional football helped relegate us - talk about full circle...

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4. Adam Johnson - £11m from Man City

What did they say?

He has terrific ability, great delivery and I’m sure he is a player who will excite our fans. I couldn’t be more delighted to have him at the football club.” - Martin O’Neill

Games played/Goals scored...

141 games, 22 goals.

What was his resale value?

Strangely enough, the prison service don’t pay transfer fees.

How he rated?

Mildly successful on the pitch but brought embarrassment to the entire club, and himself, off it.

Where is he now?

Recently released from prison.

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3. Steven Fletcher - £12m from Wolves

What did they say?

”I think Steven will be terrific for us. Steven has a proven track record of scoring goals. He’s underrated, but not by me. I’m delighted that we’ve been able to bring him to Sunderland.” - Martin O’Neill

Games played/Goals scored...

108 games, 23 goals.

What was his resale value?

Another who made us £0 when he departed us on a free transfer to Sheffield Wednesday - great.

How he rated?

It’s hard not to look at the Scottish forward’s Sunderland career and not feel some anger towards that injury he suffered towards the end of his first season on international duty, ‘cause he just never came back the same did he?

Goals against Newcastle aside, he never grew or improved at the club after that and wasn’t worth anywhere near his high transfer fee.

Where is he now?

Fletch has been living it up at Hillsborough since 2016 after a bizarre, unexplained and ultimately failed loan move to Olympic Marseille, where he has scored 24 goals in a century of games.

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2. Asamoah Gyan - £13m from Rennes

What did they say?

“Asamoah is a real live-wire. He had a fantastic tournament in the summer and a lot of European clubs sat up and took notice.” - Steve Bruce

Games played/Goals scored...

37 games, 11 goals.

What was his resale value?

Well, we made our money back when Al-Ain paid us a £6m loan fee, then a further £7m to make his deal permanent, but why Asamoah felt the need to play in the Qatari League over Wearside is still bizarre almost a decade on.

How he rated?

Undoubted quality and flashes of unbelievable skill don’t mask, what was ultimately, another underwhelming spell from another big money buy. He should have been a next-level signing, but ultimately he only played well when he fancied it.

Where is he now?

Now 33, Gyan is enjoying a spell in Turkey, where he is scoring goals for Kayserispor after spells at Shanghai and Al-Ahli Dubai.

Sunderland v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

1. Didier Ndong - £13.6m from Lorient

What did they say?

“Maybe the Sunderland fans don’t know me yet but I promise they will quickly discover I will give everything for them and the club. It will be an honour to wear the Sunderland shirt and I will wear it with a true understanding of what it means.” - Didier Ndong

Games played/Goals scored...

54 games, 1 goal.

What was his resale value?

Peak Sunderland. Break your transfer record only to end up having to sack him two years later because he’s a lazy, unprofessional loser.

How he rated?

Where do you begin? Let’s keep it simple. We signed him as a replacement for Yann M’Vila, we got relegated, then relegated again before he decided he couldn’t be arsed to play for us anymore (please read his interview when he joined us for a laugh) and ultimately got sacked, much like his pal Papy, because - as stated - he was a lazy, unprofessional loser.

Where is he now?

Whilst you can criticise his playing ability and knock Ndong’s attitude, you can’t play down his commitment to a good old relegation. He suffered his third relegation in a row last season at Guingamp and has just signed for Dijon - the complete fools.

Middlesbrough v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images