Sunderland are one of the oldest and most popular clubs in English football. They currently boast six English first division titles in their trophy cabinet, along with two FA Cups, one FA Community Shield and one EFL Trophy.
However, they've struggled in recent years. After a torrid 2016-17 season, the Black Cats were relegated to the Championship for the first time in 10 years. Their ignominy didn't end there, however, as another poor season in the 2017-18 EFL campaign saw them drop down to League One.
Since then, Sunderland have finished fifth, seventh and fourth, narrowly missing out on promotion to the Championship last season. A 3-2 loss on aggregate against Lincoln City FC in the League One playoff semifinals put paid to their chances.
Sunderland will once again push for promotion this season but need to make improvements to their squad before they can mount a serious challenge.
On that note, here's a list of three signings who could help Sunderland win promotion to the EFL Championship this season:
#3 Ibou Touray (Salford City) | Left back
Sunderland were forced to play youngster Daniel Neil at left back in this season's opener against Wigan Athletic in the absence of the injured Denver Hume.
Signing a new left back has been among the key priorities for the Black Cats this transfer season. To that end, they've been linked to Salford City's Ibou Touray of late.
Touray joined Salford City from Nantwich Town in 2017 and played a key role in their promotion from the National League North to EFL League Two. The 26-year-old played 142 games in all competitions for the Cheshire-based club thus far, scoring nine goals.
The Liverpool-born defender also won the NWFA League Two Player of the Year 2020 accolade.
#2 Jordan Lawrence-Gabriel (Nottingham Forest) | Right back
Following the departure of Conor McLaughlin at the end of last season, the Sunderland squad needs a new right back. The Black Cats are reportedly interested in signing Nottingham Forest defender Jordan Lawrence-Gabriel, who spent last season on loan at Blackpool.
He made 29 appearances for Neil Critchley’s men last campaign and helped them seal promotion to the second tier via the playoffs. The 22-year-old impressed with his awareness and aerial ability, averaging 1.5 clearances and two aerial duels per game during his time with the Seasiders. Apart from that, he also chipped in an assist for his teammates.
However, Blackpool have also shown interest in bringing him back to Bloomfield Road and Sunderland need to act faster in order to sign him.
#1 Daniel Jebbison (Sheffield United) | Forward
Charlie Wyke, Sunderland's top goalscorer last season, left the club to join Wigan Athletic on a free transfer earlier this window. His departure left a huge void in the Black Cats' squad and they are on the lookout for his replacement.
Sheffield United's Daniel Jebbison has been linked with a loan move to the Stadium of Light in recent weeks.
The 18-year-old broke into the Blades' squad last season and made four appearances during the concluding weeks of the season. He became the Premier League's youngest scorer on his full debut when he scored against Everton during Gameweek 36.
The Canada-born attacker represents England at the international level and made his debut for the Three Lions U-18 team against Wales U-18s in March of this year.
Jebbison has also been linked with Burton Albion and Doncaster Rovers but Sunderland are reportedly leading the race for his signature.