The biggest name is that of Emanuelle Giaccherini. The Italian, called up to the national side this week, shone for Bologna this season on loan, and a return to Serie A, or a link up with his former Juventus boss Antonio Conte at Chelsea, has already been mooted.
Giving the past few years of overspending and the steady influx of flops, the signing of a player whose future already lay away from Wearside came as no surprise.
Santiago Vergini first rocked up on Wearside in January 2014, before resigning on another loan deal the following summer. A Gus Poyet favourite, Vergini made 29 appearances in Sunderland’s defence prior to the Uruguayan’s sacking, but managed just two starts under Dick Advocaat before losing his place to Sebastian Coates.
With Coates also seeing his loan deal turned permanent last summer, as well as Wes Brown’s one-year extension and Younes Kaboul’s arrival, it was evident Vergini had no future on Wearside, and was promptly shipped out to Getafe on a season long loan last July.
After being sent off on his La Liga debut, Vergini had somewhat of a season to forget, with his new side relegated on the final day of the season. Getafe’s relegation means Vergini must find a new way out of Wearside.
While Vergini did have his moments, like humiliating would-be Player of the Year Eden Hazard deep inside his own half, his time on Wearside will forever be associated with that own goal against Southampton. If Sunderland are to push on next season, there can be no room for Santi.
After making 28 appearances in Spain this season, a return to La Liga could be on the cards, especially with Gus Poyet recently taking over at Real Betis.
But Vergini isn’t the only Poyet signing to be heading back to Sunderland this summer. Former Brighton duo Liam Bridcutt and Will Buckley are back in the North East. Bridcutt joined Leeds in November, before extending the deal until the end of the season. After another impressive season at Championship level, Bridcutt will have plenty of suitors, with Nottingham Forest among the clubs linked. There is interest from both parties for a return to Leeds, but that deal hinges on the future of manager Steve Evans.
Will Buckley, meanwhile, was loaned out to Leeds in October, then Birmingham in January, although struggled to make an impact at either side. Moving the winger out again could be a challenge, but he won’t be pulling on a Sunderland shirt anytime soon.
Another Sunderland loanee in the Championship, Jordi Gomez started just three times under Allardyce before being shipped out to Blackburn in January. Arguably the most successful of Sunderland’s loanees, Gomez wasn’t always a total disaster on Wearside, although will likely return to Blackburn this summer on a permanent deal.
Finally, two players whose Sunderland careers have been none-existent, Adam Matthews and Charis Mavrias, will also depart this summer. Matthews failed to impress after his summer move from Celtic, making just two appearances, and was loaned to Bristol City in March. Featuring nine times before having his season ended by a knee injury. Bristol City are expected to offer a way out of Matthew’s Wearside nightmare.
As for Charis Mavrias, a clause was inserted into his loan deal with German second division side Fortuna Düsseldorf to sign the Greek international on a permanent basis should he impress. He made 15 appearances as the club finished 14th, avoiding relegation by 3 points.
It was Allardyce’s pragmatism in replacing the likes of Liam Bridcutt with Jan Kirchhoff and Sebastian Coates with Lamine Kone that has given fans on Wearside the optimism that next year will be the one we finally push on. To do so, the revolving door at the Academy of Light has to be spinning.