Simon Grayson admits his threadbare squad could prevent some of his Under-23 players getting loan moves.
The Black Cats boss has vowed to give young players opportunities this season, with George Honeyman successfully breaking into the first team and Lynden Gooch scoring his first senior goal in the Carabao Cup.
Players such as Elliot Embleton and Joel Asoro have also been part of matchday squads, with Grayson admitting that the opportunity to play first team football would be of benefit to many of his young players.
Michael Ledger is set to join Hartlepool United but otherwise the squad has stayed in place.
Grayson said: “At this moment in time, quite a lot of the U23s are in my thoughts, training with us, and some of them are in the first-team squad travelling to games.
“I’d be quite reluctant to let a few of them out. It’s a balancing act because it’s good for their development if they are playing first-team football elsewhere, but we don’t want to leave ourselves short.”
Sunderland are still to make any further additions to their first team squad, with the transfer window to close at 11pm on Thursday.
The Black Cats are hopeful of adding further power to their front line, but are likely to be relying on loan signings unless players leave the club.
Wahbi Khazri defended his commitment to the club but there is interest in his signature from Turkey, with Alanyaspor the latest club to be linked.
Out of favour so far this season, the Black Cats would not stand in the Tunisian’s way. Lamine Kone and Didier Ndong could also leave the club, though no side has made a move for either yet.
Didier Ndong was a potential target for Lyon, but they have since signed first choice Pape Cheikh Diop from Celta Vigo.
One move that will not be taking place is Jack Rodwell switching Wearside for Lisbon.
The 26-year-old, yet to make a competitive appearance this season due to injury and illness, had been linked as a surprise replacement for William Carvalho, but Portugese media have sinced played down those rumours.