After the departures of Jordan Pickford and Vito Mannone in the summer, replacing the two goalkeepers was always going to be difficult, but not as difficult as Sunderland fans would come to see during the first half of the season.

Just 21 games into the season, the Black Cats have chopped and changed the goalkeeper four times, with summer signings Robin Ruiter and Jason Steele both looking very unconvincing.

Sunderland have the fourth worst defensive record in the Championship, conceding a hefty 38 goals in 21 games, with too many of the goals down to goalkeeping errors.

One of Chris Coleman’s first jobs, when the January transfer window opens, will be to bring in a dependable goalkeeper on the very limited budget he has available.

Here are a few options for the Black Cats to consider:

Danny Ward

Ward played for Wales under Chris Coleman’s reign so it comes as no surprise that the Black Cats have been linked with a January swoop for the Liverpool stopper.

At 6ft 4, the Welsh international is an imposing figure and is just the type of commanding goalkeeper the Sunderland defence needs.

Ward has already played at this level when he was Huddersfield’s number one during their promotion campaign and made the crucial penalty shoot-out save that took them into the play-off final.

Ward is currently third in the pecking order at Liverpool behind former Sunderland man Simon Mignolet and Loris Karius, so a deal with the Reds does seem plausible.

Eldin Jakupovic

Swiss international Jakupovic signed for Leicester City in the summer from relegated Hull City, on a three-year deal.

The 32-year-old has yet to make an appearance for the Foxes and is third choice keeper behind Kasper Schmeichel and Ben Hamer.

Jakupovic signed for the Foxes for just £2 million, so it might be that Sunderland can get the stopper for half that price, or if funds are very scarce, approach Leicester for a six-month loan deal.

Jakupovic impressed for Hull City in the Premier League and it was always going to be a challenge for the Tigers to hold onto one of their key performers.

Paulo Gazzaniga

The Argentinian was brought to Tottenham by fellow countryman Mauricio Pochettino, who he played under at Southampton.

Spurs only have Hugo Lloris and Michel Vorm ahead of Gazzaniga and could not risk selling the 25-year-old keeper on a permanent basis while they still have plenty of games left in the Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup.

However, a loan should be possible for the Black Cats if the contract includes a recall clause should any of Spurs’ keepers get injured. After featuring only once this season, Gazzaniga will be desperate to get out and play some first team football.