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You’ve got £40 million to spend, can you build the best possible Sunderland team on that budget?

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Step into the shoes of a Director of Football, where you’re tasked with building a Sunderland team of former players on a £40 million budget. Players and values are provided - show us your best side!

Sunderland v Portsmouth - Sky Bet League One Play-Off: First Leg Photo by Sunderland AFC/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

As a fun way to spend some time, we’ve come up with a fantasy football game where you’re tasked with building a Sunderland side using the values in the image below.

You’ve got £40 million to build your best Sunderland team. Each column represents a group of players worth a specific sum of money. So, for example, players in Group 1 are all worth £1 million, Group 2 are worth £2 million and so on.

You can use any formation you want, and certain players can play in multiple positions (for example, Fabio Borini could be a striker or a wide midfielder). The only major rule is that your team cannot exceed an overall value of £40 million.

The players selected are all players that have represented Sunderland in the Premier League. Some of the values are, of course, debatable and so are some of the omissions. Apologies in advance, but this isn’t supposed to be a scientific measure of value - merely a football void-filling game to pass the time with.

You are signing players based on their time purely at Sunderland. For example, who can forget Lamine Kone’s performances when he first signed? Sitting down Yaya Toure and banging in the goals... but then again, who remembers Kone’s slide into sulkiness after the club refused to sell him to Everton? You’re building a team with every player’s best and worst attributes.

Feel free to use a website such as https://www.buildlineup.com/ to build your team, like I’ve done below.

Once you’re done, take a screenshot and send us your best side!

Here’s my £40 million team...

I’ve gone cheap with my ‘keeper as I think there’s a fairly solid defence in front of him. Nosworthy and Craddock are both imposing, no-nonsense centre backs while Makin and Collins offer solidity as well as attacking intent.

In midfield, I’ve opted for Rae and Schwarz, who’ll offer tenacity and footballing smarts in the middle of the park - both are technically adept and not afraid to get stuck in. Out wide, I’ve gone with Richardson and Henderson, who are both energetic but also possess some good quality on the ball - even if Henderson was a little raw when at the club.

Up top, I’ve gone for Jones and Phillips. Both were excellent with the ball at their feet - with Jones compensating for SuperKev’s size by offering an aerial threat, too. I couldn’t work Quinn into my team, but as a holding forward, Jones is probably the best I’ve seen at the club in some time.

Have a crack and let us know your side, as well as the cost of it and - if you’d like - your own reasons for choosing the players you’ve gone for!