Chris Coleman celebrates with one of his best signings during his spell with Fulham, Carlos Bocanegra

Chris Coleman has had a habit of bringing in value-for-money signings in the past, and will need to do so again in January if Sunderland are to improve their squad.

Sunderland have noticeably improved since Coleman’s arrival, with the Welshman picking up four points from his four games since taking over.

With the January transfer window to open soon, many will argue that Sunderland will require some reinforcements in order to avoid a second successive relegation.

Coleman is aware that funds will be limited in January, and has already admitted that the loan market will likely be the club’s best bet in order to bring in new faces.

So just how well has Chris Coleman fared in the transfer market as a manager?

Coleman’s most expensive buy ever is Papa Bouba Diop. The then-Fulham boss parted with almost £8m to bring the Senegalese midfielder to Craven Cottage in 2004.

Bouba Diop quickly became a fans favourite at Fulham, and was given the captaincy by Coleman a year later. His time with the West London club lasted three seasons, making 84 appearances and scoring nine goals.

Coleman developed a reputation at Fulham for bringing in players at good value.

In his first year at Craven Cottage, he brought in Carlos Bocanegra and Brian McBride from the United States, for a combined fee of around £700,000. Both players proved immensely popular at Fulham and were also Fulham’s leading two goalscorers in the 2005/06 season.

Coleman also signed the likes of Moritz Volz, Collins John and Heidar Helguson while at Fulham, all for minimal transfer fees.

Arguably Coleman’s best bit of business while at Fulham was to bring in Clint Dempsey. The Welshman signed the American forward from New England Revolution for a reported £2.5m in 2007.

Dempsey was Fulham’s top goalscorer in both the 2006/07 and 2007/08 seasons, and won the club’s Player of the Season award in 2011. He also became the first American to reach the milestone of 50 Premier League goals, after scoring a free kick against Sunderland at the back end of the 2011/12 campaign.

Dempsey played 232 games for Fulham in all competitions, scoring 60 goals, before moving to Tottenham Hotspur in 2012 for a fee of around £7m.

One move that Coleman won’t look back on with fondness will be that of Edwin van der Sar’s transfer to Manchester United.

Coleman allowed the Dutch goalkeeper to move to Old Trafford for a measly £2m. Van der Sar went on to win four Premier League titles, two League Cups and lift the Champions League during his six years at Old Trafford, establishing himself as one of the world’s best goalkeepers.

In his year-and-a-half stint at Coventry City, Coleman continued his streak of good value signings. Coleman brought in Freddy Eastwood from Wolverhampton Wanderers for just over £1m; the forward became the first player to score a hat-trick at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry’s 3-2 win over Peterborough in 2009.

In the same year, Coleman also brought in Jordan Henderson on loan from Sunderland. Henderson scored the first senior goal of his career against Norwich a month later, and impressed during his loan spell, but it was unfortunately cut short through injury. Coleman also went on to sign Patrick van Aanholt on loan, a player who would join the Black Cats permanently four years later.

With Sunderland’s lack of funds evident for the upcoming transfer window, Chris Coleman will hope to continue his trend of finding quality players for minimal fees in order to strengthen the side.

The MLS is a league Coleman has dipped into well, and could look to do so again. Regardless, Sunderland will need some extra bodies in their squad if they are to push on from Coleman’s solid start and climb the Championship table.

Hopefully things are looking a little rosier for Sunderland come February 1.