IAN MURTAGH: Starsport’s man in the north-east gives his verdict on Sunderland’s squad

And let’s be kind and assume David Moyes has all his players available bar long-term absentees Seb Larsson, Fabio Borini and Vito Mannone.

Now pick your starting line-up for next Monday’s game against Moyes’ former club Everton at the Stadium of Light.

Here’s mine (in 4-1-4-1 formation) to give you a helping hand.

Pickford; Manquillo, Kone, Djilobodji, Van Aanholt; Kirchhoff; Januzaj, Cattermole, Ndong, Khazri; Defoe.

Not a bad line-up. Indeed, there’s an argument for suggesting it’s better than the one former manager Sam Allardyce relied on last season, a side which lost just four games during the second half of the campaign and which finished 11th in the 2016 form-guide.

And the bench wouldn’t look too bad either. Pick any six from this little lot. Gamechanger Duncan Watmore, exciting youngsters Lyndon Gooch and Joel Asoro, wise old heads John O’Shea and Steven Pienaar, the versatile Jack Rodwell, former Manchester United youngsters Paddy McNair and Donald Love and then there are new recruits Victor Anichebe and Jason Denayer.

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