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Here’s the five players we seem to have been linked to the most during the winter transfer window….

Liam Boyce

Boyce is clearly a very decent League One front man and he certainly gives our centre halves a tough time whenever we face Burton. He’s netted 21 goals in 76 games since joining the Brewers in 2017. So while he’s not prolific, he is a big man up front and if we can get the best out of him, he’ll surely improve us and act as cover for Charlie Wyke.

Antoine Semenyo

The 19-year-old Bristol City striker was recently on loan at Newport County, where he played 21 games, scoring just 3 goals, so he’s hardly going to set the world on fire from the off, if he were to come to Sunderland. However, he would be handy to have on the bench.

Ben Alnwick

Alnwick is currently without a club since being released by Phil Parkinson’s former club Bolton. He’s been training with us; despite the fact we’ve got two decent League One goalkeepers already. So, one would assume that if the former Sunderland keeper returned, then Jon McLaughlin, with only six months left on his contract, may be sold. This would allow Lee Burge to become Parky’s number one with Alnwick on the bench. Not sure that’s strengthening, but we’ll see what happens.

Lewie Coyle

The Leeds United right-back is out of contract in the summer, so Marcelo Bielsa may be looking to move him on. He’s been on loan at Fleetwood for some time, where he’s made 100 appearances, and only featured 15 times for Leeds. At 24 years old Coyle already has League One experience and would give is more options at right back, possibly even enabling Luke O’Nien to push further forward into his preferred number 10 position on occasion. He’d hopefully be an upgrade on Conor McLaughlin, who is expected to be loaned out to balance the books.

Mallik Wilks

Wilks, who can operate up front, or out wide, earned himself a move to promoted Barnsley last summer, after a very successful loan stint at Doncaster. However, Wilks has failed to settle at Oakwell. As we’ve seen at Doncaster Wilks has pace and the ability to change a game. He’d certainly give us more options in attacking areas and be a different type of player to Maguire, Gooch or Watmore.