End of season player ratings: Who shone and who flopped for Sunderland?

Very few Sunderland players covered themselves in glory as the Black Cats were relegated to the Championship for the first time in a decade.

Wednesday, 31st May 2017, 10:20 am
Updated Sunday, 4th June 2017, 7:54 pm
Sunderland players bow their heads in a minutes silence, but how many of them can really hold their heads up high after a disastrous season in the Premier League?

But who did stand out? Who was a major disappointment? Who are the ones to watch next season as Sunderland bid to bounce back to the Premier League?

Here’s our end-of-term report card.


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Jordan Pickford: 9. Sunderland’s player of the season. Jermain Defoe won the official award but highly-consistent Pickford has been a revelation since breaking into the side.

A huge future awaits him. Sadly, it is unlikely to be at Sunderland with the vultures circling following relegation.

Vito Mannone: 5. Frustrating season all round for the Italian. The 29-year-old lost his place in August through injury and had to make do with a place on the bench on his return.

Returned for a nine-game spell when Pickford was injured but Mannone was soon back on the bench. Expect him to leave this summer.


Billy Jones: 5. Established himself as first choice right-back under David Moyes but his limitations were exposed by Premier League wingers.

A solid Championship defender.

Javier Manquillo: 5. The highlight of his loan spell turned out to be a consolation goal against Chelsea.

Has returned to Atletico Madrid and won’t be back on Wearside.

John O’Shea: 6. His best years are clearly behind him but O’Shea remained Moyes’ go to man in defence.

The skipper made 33 appearances, relying on his organisational skills. A low bar but the most consistent CB.

Lamine Kone: 4. A major disappointment for Sunderland given his talent and performances the season before.

Selling Younes Kaboul didn’t help Kone but he didn’t help Sunderland in return. Time to move him on.

Papy Djilobodji: 4. Moyes will no doubt regret a lot about his time at Sunderland and the £8million signing of Djilobodji is up there.

Erratic, lacks concentration, a big flop. Can Sunderland move him on though?

Jason Denayer: 5. Niggly injuries hampered him towards the end of his loan spell but he showed promise playing in defence and midfield.

Sunderland didn’t see the best of him but one to keep an eye on.

Bryan Oviedo: 6.Oviedo is a far better defender than his predecessor Patrick van Aanholt, though he doesn’t possess his attacking swagger. A solid left-back and will do well in Championship.

Joleon Lescott: 4. Waste of a wage.

Donald Love: 5. Thrown in at the start and never looked truly comfortable. One for the future and will no doubt get more game time in the Championship.


Didier Ndong: 7. A big money buy last summer and with that comes added pressure.

After a inconsistent start, Ndong grew into his role, his energy and willingness to take the ball a novel approach in Sunderland’s one-dimensional midfield.

Lee Cattermole: 5. Injuries again hampered his season with just nine appearances.

A huge influence on the Sunderland dressing room, he will be a key player next season.

Jan Kirchhoff: 5. Similar to Cattermole in that Sunderland haven’t seen the best of him this season due to injuries.

Such a shame given his impact last year. Out of contract.

Seb Larsson: 5. His best days are behind him. Didn’t play until November due to a knee injury.

Moyes favoured him but his influence on the team has waned. Set pieces not what they were.

Jack Rodwell: 4. Games pass him by. Unless he leaves, Rodwell will likely be Sunderland’s highest earner next year. Time for him to prove his worth.

Steven Pienaar: 5. Likely to move back to South Africa after a disappointing campaign.

Moyes was a big fan but injuries caught up with him. Contributed to Sunderland’s one-paced midfield.

Paddy McNair: 5. Showed flashes of his potential before his season-ending knee injury.

Again, he should be an important player for Sunderland in the Championship.

Adnan Januzaj: 4. A major flop. Arrived from Manchester United with great fanfare but the loanee struggled all season.

Just one goal to his name. A big let down.

Darron Gibson: 5. Didn’t cover himself in glory but has another 12-months on his contract.

Should be a good player at Championship level but time will tell.

Wahbi Khazri: 5. Should have been more game time by Moyes. Can frustrate and excite in equal measure.

Sunderland missed his set piece delivery, craft and willingness to attack.

Lynden Gooch/George Honeyman: Honeyman’s performances earned him a new deal and Sunderland are confident there is much more to come from the pair. Big season next year.


Jermain Defoe: 8. Would have been a 9 but his form dipped badly in the final stages of the season. Poor service didn’t help.

The 15-goal top scorer been a brilliant servant though and will leave with everyone’s best wishes.

Victor Anichebe: 5. A low-risk signing on a free. Played a key part in Sunderland’s mini-Autumn revival but the reason he was on a free was due to injury record. Impact lessened considerably.

Duncan Watmore: 6. Just when Sunderland and Watmore were flying his season was cut short by a serious knee injury.

Will play a huge role next season, though.

Fabio Borini: 5. Another disappointment. His season was disrupted by a three-month spell out injured but when he came back his performances were well below par.

Only managed two goals all season. Attitude didn’t help.

Joel Asoro/Josh Maja: 6. Two players to watch after impressive seasons for the Under-23s.