It's been a long, long time since Sunderland have been established in the top half of the top flight in English football, and despite some excellent seasons, they're few and far between. But in recent years success has usually brought a dreadful summer of harvesting, with the Black Cats' stars being sold on to raise funds which have been promptly wasted. Because of this, the club has found itself in dire trouble for several consecutive seasons. Ellis Short has promised to make funds available to Dick Advocaat as he looks to strengthen the side, but fans on Wearside can still be left wondering what might have been if several of their stars had been kept in the past. Icons like Niall Quinn, Kevin Phillips, and Julio Arca won't feature on this list as the former retired, while Phillips left after relegation, and Arca hung on until a second plunge out of the Premier League. They simply couldn't be held onto, but there have been more than enough players leave the Stadium of Light prematurely, whether they wanted to leave, or whether they were forced out of the club. So here are 11 of the players that Sunderland shouldn't have sold, along with the pinpoint reasons why.
What Culture contributor. NCTJ accredited Sports Journalist. Regret-filled Sunderland AFC season ticket holder. Optimism-filled NFL fan. Lover of all things Game Of Thrones, Breaking Bad, Walking Dead & more.