With the 2021/22 campaign set to kick off in August, it will be intriguing to see whether Sunderland manager Lee Johnson will be able to assemble a team which is capable of launching a push for automatic promotion.
The Black Cats came up short last season as they suffered a 2-1 aggregate defeat at the hands of Lincoln City in the play-offs.
Johnson opted to use the fallout of this particular result to make some drastic changes to his squad as he released a host of players who ultimately failed to deliver the goods on a consistent basis.
Meanwhile, the 40-year-old was forced to wave goodbye to loanees Dion Sanderson and Jordan Jones who returned to their respective clubs following the culmination of the previous campaign.
Whilst Sunderland have yet to make a decision on whether they would like to bring Jones back to the Stadium of Light next season, they have made a move for Sanderson.
According to the Daily Mail, the Black Cats recently submitted a £1m offer for the Wolverhampton Wanderers defender which was reportedly rejected by the club.
It is understood that whilst Wolves are open to the possibility of selling Sanderson this summer, they are willing to wait until a club meet their valuation which is thought to be in the region of £2m.
Sanderson, who is also attracting interest from Cardiff City, Birmingham City, Stoke City, Luton Town, Millwall and Sheffield United, produced a number of promising performances for Sunderland last season.
Before having his campaign curtailed by a back injury in April, the defender made 27 appearances for the club in all competitions.
With Sanderson's current deal at Molineux set to run until 2022, this summer represents the final chance that Wolves will get to secure a respectable fee for Sanderson as they could lose the 21-year-old on a free transfer next year if they opt against cashing in on him.
GIVEMESPORT's Joshua Cole says...
Whilst Sunderland would have been disappointed to see their opening bid knocked back by Wolves, they now have a decision to make regarding whether they are willing to step up their pursuit of Sanderson.
As well ranking in the top-five at the Stadium of Light last season in terms of clearances per game (2.7), the defender also illustrated that he is more than capable of competing in the third-tier by averaging a respectable WhoScored match rating of 6.72.
Providing that Sunderland are confident that Sanderson will be able to maintain his fitness for the entirety of the upcoming campaign, they simply have to submit a better offer for the defender as he clearly possesses a great deal of talent.
By building a team around Sanderson, the Black Cats could find themselves in a fantastic position to secure a return to the Championship next year.
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