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15 Worst Sunderland Signings Ever

5. Milton Nunez

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Sunderland signed Milton Nunez for a reported £1.6m. It was a strange signing that has a number of theories behind it. Sunderland were scouting a different player. Eduardo Valencia was the player they had been scouting, although the club were adamant that it was Eduardo Bennett.

In the end, Milton Nunez was the signing they made. A complicated case of mistaken identity? A few too many drinks? Nunez stayed in England for two years, playing just once for Sunderland against Wimbledon in the league and then once against Luton Town in the League Cup, before eventually returning to Nacional.

4. Gareth Hall

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Hall moved to Sunderland in January 1996, having originally been on loan there from Chelsea. He came to Sunderland with a big reputation but failed miserably. His panic whenever a winger ran at him was akin to playing hopscotch on a field of land mines. He had these sort of worried-looking eyes that rock from side to side whenever a left-winger ran at him before he just lunged in, getting done for pace.

3. Lee Camp

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Camp joined the club on loan from Cardiff in 2018 and went on to make 12 appearances. All 12 of which were an absolute disaster. Mistake upon mistake upon mistake. The worrying factor for Sunderland fans during Camp’s period at the club was that he had no competition for the shirt. Jason Steele was the only other senior keeper at the club and there wasn’t a safe pair of hands between them.

2. Ricky Alvarez

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Alvarez looked like a promising loan signing, with a view to a permanent switch if Sunderland avoided relegation in 2014-15 season. Sunderland avoided relegation and triggered the conditional obligation to buy Álvarez outright for €10.5 million.

However, after an injury-ridden loan spell, Sunderland refused to accept any obligation to buy Alvarez permanently, prompting Inter to pursue a legal case against them. Ultimately, the Black Cats, who were in dire financial straits – were ordered to pay Inter £9 million plus £300,000 in interest for the player.

But even that wasn’t the end of it, as Alvarez himself won a court ruling order Sunderland to pay him £4.77 million in compensation for loss of income. And so Sunderland ended up paying almost £14m for a player they never owned.

1. Jack Rodwell

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When thinking about Sunderland flops of the last decade, Rodwell is, without doubt, the prime example. A young star at Everton, he was quickly in the England squad and then bought by Manchester City. Having rotted on their bench, however, he signed for Sunderland in 2014 with supporters hoping he would resurrect his career.

Unfortunately, Sunderland hadn’t done their vetting of his character very well. A player totally out of love with the game and happy to collect his paycheck, he spent more time on the treatment table on Wearside than he did on the pitch.

Dishonourable mentions: Cabral, Alan Stubbs, Jason Steele, Darron Gibson, Mika, Ignacio Scocco, David Moberg Karlsson, El Hadji-Ba, Marcos Angeler, Callum McManaman, Marc Wilson, Adam Matthews, Santiago Vergini, James McFadden, Callum McFadzean, Carsten Fredgaard, Didier Ndong, etc

Checkout: Greatest Sunderland Players Ever

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