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SAFC SITTING ON A GOLD MINE

CURRENT SQUADS POTENTAL VALUE – ACCORDING TO FOOTBALL MANAGER

Sunderland has one of the youngest squads around, and opinions on each players potential can be wildly different depending on who you speak to. So we turned to the football simulation game Football Manager for some answers.

It’s July 2030, Sunderland just avoided relegation in their first season back in the Premiership since the 16/17 season. We did not play as Sunderland, we simply simulated the game until the end of the 29/30 season, and here are the results.

Anthony Patterson

The goalkeeper moved away from Sunderland in the Summer of 2024, and went to Leicester for 22 million. He stayed with the Tigers until the summer of 2026, when he moved to Fulham for 34.5 million, where he is still the first-choice goalkeeper. He’s now 29 and valued at 7 million.

Transfer Value for Sunderland: 22 million

Value in 2030: 7 million

Nathan Bishop

He ran down his contract at Sunderland and in the summer of 2026 moved to Dundee United where he failed to make an impact, making only 11 appearances for the first team in the 26/27 season. He was then sold to Partick Thistle for £14.5k where he has been a regular in their first team. He’s now 30 and valued at 150k.

Transfer Value for Sunderland: 0

Value in 2030: 7 million

Niall Huggins

The defender stayed at Sunderland until the summer of 2026, at which point he was sold to Crawley for 69K. He has been a regular in their first team ever since. He’s now 28 and valued at 70k.

Transfer Value for Sunderland: 69k

Value in 2030: 7 million

Dennis Cirkin

The left back was a regular in the Sunderland team until the summer of 2029 when he was sold to West Brom for 8.25 million. He’s a regular in the Baggies first team who are playing their stuff in the Championship. He’s now 27 and valued at 11 million.

Transfer Value for Sunderland: 8.25

Value in 2030: 11 million

Dan Ballard

The centre back is now 30 and still a regular in the Sunderland first team, he’s valued at 16 million.

Transfer Value for Sunderland: Not Sold

Value in 2030: 16 million

Timothee Pembele

After a loan spell at Birmingham in the 24/25 season, the defender became a regular in the first team at Sunderland and is currently valued at 8 million.

Transfer Value for Sunderland: Not Sold

Value in 2030: 8 million

Luke O’Nien

The versatile defender remained a regular in the Sunderland first team until the summer of 2006, when he moved to Stoke for 3 million. He was a regular in their first team there for two seasons before moving to Dundee United for 250K. He’s now 35 and still playing regular at Dens Park. Given his advancing years it’s no surprise that he’s now valued at zero.

Transfer Value for Sunderland: 3 million

Value in 2030: 0

Jenson Seelt

The towering defender never managed to put his mark on the Sunderland first team, spending the 24/25 season on loan at Tranmere before making 14 appearances for the Sunderland first team the following season. In the summer of 2026, he was sold to Millwall for 1 million where he still plays. He’s now 27 and is valued at 500K.

Transfer Value for Sunderland: 1 million

Value in 2030: 500k

Trai Hume

The right back failed to make an impression on the Sunderland first team after suffering multiple injuries that kept him out. He stayed with the black cats until the summer of 2026, when he was sold to St. Mirren for 235k. where again his career was overshadowed by injury, making only 18 first team appearances in two seasons. In the summer of 2028, his contract was up, and he signed for Partick Thistle where he had more luck, regularly featuring in their first team. He’s now 27 and valued at 70k.

Transfer Value for Sunderland: 235k

Value in 2030: 70k

Leo Hjelde

The Norwegian defender stayed with Sunderland until the summer of 2026, when he was sold to Watford for 10.75 million. He only stayed there for one season before being offloaded to Brentford for 5.5 million, where he failed to have a huge impact at the premiership team, making only 14 apparencies in two seasons. In summer 2029 he made a 6 million move to Championship side Nottingham Forrest where he has been a regular and consistent performer in their first team. He’s now 26 and valued at 15 million.

Transfer Value for Sunderland: 10.75 million

Value in 2030: 15 million

Aji Alese

The left back departed Sunderland in the summer of 2024 to spend a season on loan at Charlton Athletic, before making the move permanent for 2.5 million. He’s now 28, still playing for the Addicks and is valued at 6 million.

Transfer Value for Sunderland: 2.5 million

Value in 2030: 6 million

Jobe Bellingham

The midfielder stayed with Sunderland for another season, before being snapped up by Everton for 7.25 million. He failed to break into the Toffees first team for his first two season and was loaned to Reading for the 27/28 season, where he played regularly. On returning to Everton the following season he made 10 appearances for the first team. In the summer of 2029, his contact came to an end, and he signed for Nottingham Forrest where he has failed to break into the first team. He’s now 24 and valued at 15 million.

Transfer Value for Sunderland: 7.25 million

Value in 2030: 15 million

Elliot Embleton

The Sunderland academy graduate played two more seasons and the Stadium of Light, before moving to Stoke in the summer of 2026 for 5.5 million. Since then, he has played almost every game for Stoke, he’s now 30 and valued at 6.5 million.

Transfer Value for Sunderland: 5.5 million

Value in 2030: 6.5 million

Patrick Roberts

The winger played at Sunderland until the summer of 2026, when he made a 10 million move to QPR. He made 31 appearances in his first season with The Hoops, helping them get promoted to the premiership. However, for the next two season there he failed to break into the first team, and in the summer of 2028, he was sold to Coventry for 1.8 million where he still plays. He’s now 32 and valued at 275k.

Transfer Value for Sunderland: 10 million

Value in 2030: 275k

Romaine Mundle

The left sided midfielder mostly played from the bench at Sunderland with Jack Clarke keeping him out the team. In the summer of 2027, he made a move to Preston for 4.2 million and is still there today and is one of the first names on the team sheet. He’s now 26 and valued at 11 million.

Transfer Value for Sunderland: 4.2 million

Value in 2030: 11 million

Abdollah Ba

The midfielder played at Sunderland until the Summer of 2027, but after failing to break into the first team more than a handful of times, he ran his contract down and signed for Havre AC in France. He’s been there ever since and is a regular in their first team. He’s now 26 and valued at 1.5 million.

Transfer Value for Sunderland: 0

Value in 2030: 1.5 million

Ellis Taylor

The exciting young prospect never fulfilled the hype, he stayed at Sunderland until his contract ended and then signed for Ayr, where he was a regular in their first team. In 2029 his contract came to an end, and he moved to Bristol Rovers where he is playing now. He’s now 26 and valued at 700k.

Transfer Value for Sunderland: 0

Value in 2030: 700k

Jack Clarke

The winger is still playing at Sunderland, with 307 appearances under his belt. He’s now 29 and valued at 38 million.

Transfer Value for Sunderland: Not Sold

Value in 2030: 38 million

Adil Aouchiche

The midfielder is still playing at Sunderland, he’s starts for the first team a lot. He’s now 26 and valued at 17 million.

Transfer Value for Sunderland: Not Sold

Value in 2030: 17 million

Dan Neil

The local lad stayed at Sunderland and was a regular in the first team, until the January transfer window of 2029, when he moved to Bristol City for 1.4 million, where he’s a regular in their first team. He’s now 27 and valued at 5 million.

Transfer Value for Sunderland: 1.4 million

Value in 2030: 5 million

Chris Rigg

The academy graduate stayed with Sunderland until the summer of 2006, at which point he moved to Liverpool for 27 million. He followed in the footsteps of Jordan Henderson and is now a regular first team player for Liverpool as well as England. He’s now 23 and valued at 37 million.

Transfer Value for Sunderland: 27 million

Value in 2030: 37 million

Pierre Ekwah

The powerhouse of a midfielder stayed with Sunderland until the summer of 2025, when he moved to MLS side Real Salt Lake for 11 million. He was a regular for their first team for three seasons before moving to Olympique de Marseille in 2027 for 8 million, where he still plays. He’s now 27 and valued at 30 million.

Transfer Value for Sunderland: 11 million

Value in 2030: 30 million

Hemir Semedo

The striker stayed with Sunderland until the January transfer window of 2028, at which point he make a 12 million move to Crystal Palace. He’s still with them now and a regular in the first team, regularly coming in as their top goal scorer. He’s now 27 and valued at 23 million.

Transfer Value for Sunderland: 12 million

Value in 2030: 23 million

Nazariy Rusyn

The Ukrainian striker is still at Sunderland and has become a bit of a fan favourite, whilst he doesn’t score a boat load of goals, his work ethic and assist rate has seem him become a regular in the first team at the Black Cats, and for his national side. He’s now 31 and valued at 8 million.

Transfer Value for Sunderland: Not Sold

Value in 2030: 8 million

How It Works Out

So if Football Manager is to be believed, Sunderland will make just over 126 million from the current squad. Not a bad return when you look at the amount paid for the current crop. Now obviously this is just a bit of fun, but we can dream.

Let us know in the comments below what you think of Footballs Managers predictions.

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