Marcos Alonso during his time with Sunderland

Amid speculation that Bournemouth could recall Sunderland top goalscorer Lewis Grabban in January, Sports Byte takes a look back at three of the Black Cats’ best loan signings and how they have fared since leaving the Stadium of Light.

During their 10-year stint in the Premier League, Sunderland were always short on quality despite spending significantly more than the majority of teams around them.

Due to some of their big money signings failing to make a positive impact, Sunderland had to rely heavily on recruitment in the loan market.

In the short term, the Black Cats’ use of the loan market was largely impressive, but failure to sign players on a permanent basis is one of the many reasons why they were eventually relegated to the Sky Bet Championship.

Marcos Alonso

The forward-thinking left-back was signed midway through the 2013-14 campaign by Gus Poyet, when it seemed Sunderland were destined for relegation. The Spaniard didn’t exactly have to pull up any trees to be an improvement on the ageing Andrea Dossena, but in both attack and defence Alonso was a class act. He played a pivotal role in ensuring Sunderland pulled off a great escape avoiding relegation and also scored in the penalty shootout at Old Trafford, which took Sunderland to the Capital One Cup Final.

Where is he now?

After his six months on Wearside, Alonso returned to Italy where he spent one season at Fiorentina. It was no surprise to Sunderland fans when he was signed by Chelsea manager Antonio Conte for more than 20 million pounds and he was an ever-present in the Chelsea team that went on to win the Premier League. It was widely reported that after his six months at Sunderland, the Black Cats passed up the opportunity to sign Alonso on a permanent basis for just five million pounds due to their financial restraints.

Yann M’Vila

Life on Wearside started off terribly for the French midfielder when he was shown a straight red card on his debut for a head-butt, in an Under-21s match. But he quickly turned his fortunes around, scoring a scorcher of a free kick away to Aston Villa for what turned out to be his only Sunderland goal. On Sam Allardyce’s first home game in charge, M’Vila was named man of the match in the Tyne-Wear derby, which instantly made him a hit with Sunderland fans. His box to box, aggressive style of play was exactly what the team needed as they avoided relegation in the 2015-16 season.

Where is he now?
M’Vila went back to his parent club Rubin Kazan but constantly made it clear to Sunderland that he wanted to return to Wearside. The Russian giants were playing hardball over the fee and Sunderland could not afford to cough up the asking price of seven million pounds, along with M’Vila’s hefty wages. The midfielder had just six months left on his contract and it was reported that Sunderland and M’Vila had reached a pre-contract agreement where the player would sign in January, but nothing ever materialised and to this day he remains a Rubin Kazan player.

Danny Rose

When he was first signed at the beginning of the 2012-13 season by Martin O’Neill, it was seen as a relatively uninspiring piece of business from Sunderland. Rose was known for his tremendous volley in the North London derby but apart from that, Black Cats’ fans knew very little about his general play. They quickly found out. Not only was Rose the best defender at the club, constantly bailing out the ponderous centre-half pairing of Carlos Cuellar and John O’Shea, he was the main outlet going forward using his rapid acceleration. The attacking full-back was awarded Sunderland’s young player of the season for his outstanding performances throughout the campaign.

Where is he now?

It was never realistic that Sunderland would get the opportunity to sign Rose on a permanent basis. He quickly established himself as Tottenham and England’s first choice left-back and was voted in the Premier League PFA team of the year two years running, 2015-16 and 2016-17. Rose has recently spent nine months out with a knee ligament injury but will hopefully, for England’s sake, recover his fitness and form in time for the World Cup in 2018.