Sunderland's development squad has begun to take shape with a raft of new deals for the clubs most promising young players.
Sunderland have tied down eleven of their most promising youngsters to new deals as the development squad for next season begins to take shape.
Young keeper Ben Wilson has signed a new contract with the club, and should do battle with Jordan Pickford for the No.1 shirt in the squad, while defenders Liam Marrs and Jordan Watson, along with the highly promising Louis Laing and Blair Adams have also signed new deals. John Egan will also be in the mix for a starting slot if he remains at the club, although another loan deal is widely expected for the Irishman who spent time at Crystal Palace and Sheffield United last season.
Midfielders James Armstrong, son of former terrace favourite Gordon Armstrong picks up a new contract, as does Adam Reed and former Arsenal midfielder-come-striker Roarie Deacon. Billy Knott finds himself in a similar boat to Egan in that it's likely he'll spend another season on loan as he did at AFC Wimbledon last season.
As reported a few weeks ago, striker Jordan Laidler along with defenders Connor Oliver and Anthony Callaghan have signed their first professional deals after graduating from the Academy side. You can read more on the trio in our article from the time here.
In attack we remain with a front two who have saw some, if limited, first team action at Sunderland in Craig Lynch and Ryan Noble, although it's known that Hartlepool United manager Neale Cooper would like to see Noble back at Victoria Park for a second loan deal next season.
There are two brand new faces in the Development Squad too, with former Darlington left-back David Ferguson (who you can read more about here) joining former Bury midfielder Wade Joyce. Joyce is a tough-tackling central midfield player, and joins the club following a successful trial in April.
The only remaining piece of the puzzle will be to find out who manages the side, following the departures of Keith Bertschin and Stephen Clemence to Hull City earlier this week.