Sunderlands XI if they had kept their best young stars including Pickford

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Three England internationals, a £20m striker and a Premier League winner, Sunderland would now have one hell of a squad if they could manage to keep a talented group of young players together at the Stadium of Light.

Jordan Pickford – Everton

Love him or hate him, Pickford is England’s number one goalkeeper for a reason. His form remains fairly impeccable at international level. Everton can only hope their £30m glove man can repeat those stellar performances week after week as a first relegation since 1951 looms for the Toffees.

The Washington-born goalkeeper is the most expensive export in Sunderland history.

DeAndre Yedlin – InterMiami

During an impressive loan spell from Tottenham Hotspur in 2015/16, the rocket-fuelled right-back admitted he was open to the idea of ​​staying at the Stadium of Light full-time. As you might imagine, things didn’t go down too well with some fans as bitter rivals Newcastle got them to the post and snatched Yedlin from under Sunderland’s nose with a £5million bid.

Yedlin now shares a dressing room with Gonzalo Higuain and, um, Phil Neville at Inter Miami.

Premier League’s WORST SIGNING OF ANY SEASON (1992-2022)



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John Egg – Sheffield United

As Sunderland fans watched as their side conceded a 94th Minute winner against Charlton Athletic in the 2019 League One play-off final, Egan was preparing for life in the big game.

A stone in the heart Chris Wilder’s Sheffield United side, the 22-time Republic of Ireland international, was sacked by the Black Cats just four years before helping the Blades rise.

Jason Denayer – Lyons

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In November 2016, The sun reported that Jason Denayer wanted to make his £10million loan switch from Manchester City permanent. Of course, those hopes would go up in smoke when Sunderland’s David Moyes’ side were eliminated from the Premier League a few months later.

A classic case of what could have been, Denayer is now an integral part of the Belgium national squad. And with his contract at Lyon expiring, the silky centre-back could soon return to the North East with Newcastle.

Jack Colback – The Forest of Nottingham

Colback joined Tyneside from Wearside eight years ago, becoming the first player since Lionel Perez in 1998 to leave Sunderland for Newcastle when his contract expired.

Colback, now 32, is enjoying a resurgence at promotion-chasers Nottingham Forest, either in central midfield or at left-back.

George Honigmann – Hull City

This one hurts. After all, Honeyman was a Sunderland fan growing up, a player who entered the academy aged 10 before rising through the ranks and inheriting the captain’s armband. Just to rub salt in Wearside’s wounds, Honeyman has taken his game to a whole new level since being sold to Hull City in 2019.

The bubbly midfielder shone as Hull stormed to the League One title last season, finishing three places and 12 points above his old employers.

Jordan Henderson – Liverpool

Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

After all, Sunderland made a pretty dime on Henderson – compared to Honeyman, anyway. Henderson was sold to Liverpool for £20million a decade ago and is undoubtedly the most successful footballer at that team.

He has guided Liverpool to their first-ever Premier League title, conquered the continent and played in a World Cup semi-final.

Paddy McNair – Mittelbrough

Another player who caught the eye at Sunderland before moving to a neighbor to the north east. McNair has been one of the top names on Middlesbrough’s squad for the last four seasons.

The former Manchester United youngster has earned over 50 caps for Northern Ireland at the age of just 26.

David Moberg Karlson – Red Urawa diamonds

If there’s one name on this list that will put a rather stunned expression on Sunderland supporters, it’s that of Moberg Karlsson. The Sweden international was one of Roberto di Fanti’s memorable summer 2013 signings, playing just 14 months before moving to Nordsjaelland.

Moberg Karlsson joined Urawa Red Diamonds a few months ago after shining at Sparta Prague. He is best remembered for his superb performance in the Europa League in a stunning win over Celtic.

Antoine Semenyo —Bristol City

Two years ago, Semenyo’s loan at the Stadium of Light ended early when COVID-19 reared its head. How far he’s come since then.

Semenyo is now one of the most desirable youngsters in the EFL and is valued at £20million by Bristol City. His agent recently confirmed Celtic’s interest.

Danny Welbeck – Brighton and Hove Albion

Another former loan star, Sunderland, wanted to sign permanently. Manchester United opted to bring Welbeck back to Old Trafford after helping Steve Bruce’s side finish tenth in the Premier League table. Will the Black Cats ever make the Premier League again?

Welbeck took silver with United and Arsenal and scored 16 goals in 42 games for England.

Photo by David Horton – CameraSport via Getty Images

In other news, the Newcastle transfer target hasn’t played in 4 months and won’t renew the contract Sunderlands XI if they had kept their best young stars including Pickford

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