Sunderland’s John O’Shea embraces Bali Mumba as is he substituted during the Sky Bet Championship match at the Stadium of Light, Sunderland.

With the Championship season over and Sunderland beginning the process of preparing for League One, it seems inevitable that a high squad turnover is inbound.

First-teamers such as Bryan Oviedo have expressed desire to move on, and defender Lamine Kone is even advertising his services on Instagram in order to find a new club.

With that said, the Black Cats could be forced to rely on members of the youth team to step-up, as the likes of George Honeyman and Ethan Robson have done this year.

Luke Molyneux

20-year-old Luke Molyneux made his Black Cats debut on the final day of the season, in the 3-0 win over Wolves. The winger enjoyed a decent season for the under 23s, bagging six goals,  and will surely be in and around the first team picture as Sunderland dip into League One.

A player with bags of pace, boyhood Sunderland fan Molyneux joined the Lads during the 2014/15 season, and hailed his recent first team debut as ‘a dream come true’ on Twitter.

Bali Mumba

Midfielder Mumba made headlines against Wolves, making his first team debut for Sunderland aged just 16. Captain John O’Shea handed Mumba the captain’s armband, making him the youngest first team captain in Sunderland’s history.

He rose from the under 18 squad to the under 23s this season, impressing along the way, with clubs such as Liverpool reported to have been monitoring him.

Mumba’s potential is limitless, and even at the age of just 16, he has the ability to feature in League One next season.

Benjamin Mbunga-Kimipoka

Following in the footsteps of countryman Joel Asoro, Swedish attacker Mbunga-Kimpioka signed for the club in 2016 and has earned rave reviews since.

Described as having ‘good-ball skills and a neat turn of pace’ according to the Sunderland AFC website, the 18-year old scored 9 goals in just 12 under-18 Premier League games, and is certainly in with a shout of the first-team next season.

Connor Shields

Shields was a surprise signing in the January window, arriving from Scottish club Albion Rovers after netting 12 in 27 for the Scottish League One side.

Described as a striker with a blistering turn of pace, Shields has featured regularly for Elliot Dickman’s under-23 side, replacing Andrew Nelson who had moved on loan to Falkirk.

With Ashley Fletcher’s loan ending and the futures of Josh Maja and Joel Asoro up in the air, Sunderland will be thin on the ground up front, and Shields could well be used as a back-up to whoever is brought in.

Denver Hume

Left-back Denver Hume has been another ever-present in the Sunderland reserve sides this season, and is very highly rated by the club.

Joining Sunderland at aged ten, the Northumberland born defender is alsocapable on the left-wing, versatility which could prove important in the Third Tier.

Left-back will be another problem position with Bryan Oviedo leaving, and once again the youth team could hold the answer to that.