Stoke outcast among 3 loans Sunderland should make this January

Sam Allardyce may have provided enough of a boost to Sunderland to drag them out of the Premier League’s relegation zone, but he knows his won’t have to be the only mid-season arrival if the Black Cats are to survive the campaign.

The former West Ham manager has seen his new charges vault clear of the dreaded dotted line after consecutive wins over Crystal Palace and Stoke, but insists new recruits in January remain a priority in order to keep the club up.

The arrivals won’t be on permanent deals though, as Allardyce told the Sunderland Echo loan deals with an option to buy remain the Stadium of Light side’s best chance of securing new players.

With Ladbrokes pricing the Mackems at 4/9 to be relegated ahead of a 12/1-rated trip to play Arsenal, here are three men that the club could plump for this winter:

Curtis Davies – Hull

The biggest problem facing Sunderland at the moment is defending. The side had let in 26 goals in the top flight, the third most in the division.

Between an inconsistent Younes Kaboul, a still acclimatising Sebastian Coates and an ageing John O’Shea, Allardyce would likely want to add some dependability to his centre-half stocks.

Curtis Davies was one of Hull’s best players during their relegation season in the Premier League and continues to thrive at the KC Stadium in the Championship this term.

As club captain it will be tough to lure the Englishman away, but the chance to return to the top flight early could be the deal maker.

Peter Crouch – Stoke

Crouch isn’t getting a sniff at the Stoke first team now that Mark Hughes has added technical wizards like Xherdan Shaqiri and Ibrahim Afellay to Bojan Krkic and the need to lump it to a big man is waning.

With Jermain Defoe already at the Stadium of Light, Allardyce could reprise the successful partnership Crouch enjoyed with his compatriot at both Tottenham and Portsmouth.

With Danny Graham and burgeoning youngster Duncan Watmore the striker backups, Sunderland could do with some greater depth up front too.

Serge Gnabry – West Brom

Gnabry is at West Brom as a loanee from Arsenal, but is clearly out of favour with Tony Pulis having been handed just 12 minutes of Premier League action this term.

If Allardyce is able to get that deal cancelled he could add some pace and direct running to a side which lacks real speed out wide.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.