5 Players Sunderland should move for to regain their promotion hopes from League One in the January transfer window
With promotion from League One now on a knife edge following a 2-1 defeat to Burton Albion, this upcoming transfer window will be vital should Sunderland look to keep their slim hopes alive.
With clear weaknesses in the squad it is easy to see why Sunderland fans are already discussing who they should sign in January.
In a talk-in event for fans, Black Cats Executive Director Charlie Methven suggested that there could be five incomings at the Stadium of Light.
But where do Sunderland need to strengthen and who should they go for?
Here are five players the Wearsiders should look to sign to mend their broken squad.
The Bristol Rovers striker Clarke-Harris has been in inspired form since his transfer last January.
Despite Rovers 15thplace finish last campaign the ex-Coventry man bagged 16 goals, and has started this season in similar style with seven goals already to his name this season.
At six foot Clarke-Harris can provide goals in the air as well as on the ground with confidence in both feet and could more than solve an area where current options are struggling.
Hunter started out at non-league side Ilkeston before moving to Fleetwood Town back in 2015.
And since the move he has gone from strength to strength, eventually leading to a respectable eight goals and 11 assists as Fleetwood ended the season in 11thplace.
But as the cod army looked to push on this campaign, Hunter has found himself limited to substitute and cup appearances.
With pace and trickery, the winger could provide the edge which has hurt Sunderland at both ends of the pitch, while also providing stiff competition for Sunderland’s star player last season, Aiden McGeady.
In the summer Bristol City managed to secured the signature of Szmodics, despite heavy interest from fellow Championship sides Leeds, Derby and Hull.
Szmodics signed from Colchester where he was top scorer for the previous two seasons, with 12 goals, improved to 14 the following year, whilst also providing a further four assists, which again improved the following season to nine.
The creative attacking midfielder, who has proven to be too good for League Two, has seen his time in a higher division restricted to two appearances this season.
And with Sunderland lacking creativity and flair in forward areas, Szmodics could be the answer should Bristol City be willing to loan him out as a young player who needs game time.
Bayliss secured a summer move to Championship side Preston after impressing as he rose through the ranks at Coventry City.
Bayliss was influential in central midfield as Coventry not only gained promotion to League One, but then challenged for a play-off spot the following season.
A tall midfielder, who drives at defenders and refuses to be bullied off the ball by more experienced players, he provides an element that Sunderland’s midfield seemingly lacks, while having younger legs to up the tempo in play where other options cannot.
But, it is unsure whether or not Preston would be willing to part with him on loan, but it is a punt the Black Cats should consider as they look to fix underlying issues rooted into the first team.
The Frenchman Cavare signed for Barnsley back in the summer of 2017 from RC Lens with a huge reputation, despite injuries hampering his career.
An influential figure at right back as Barnsley regained their Championship status, finishing runners up in League One, with Cavare earning a place in the Team of the Season.
A man with pace and power, the tykes full back could be the perfect fit as the Black Cats look to restart a promotion charge, whilst also allowing Luke O’Nien to break free from right back and make a midfield spot his own.
And with the only other option Conor McLaughlin majorly underperforming, a right back is now essential and with Barnsley having many options in that area already a move for Cavare would prove very shrewd business.