It has been a rough road for Sunderland during the last two seasons and relegation on two consecutive occasions has seen them fall into the abyss of League One ahead of the 2018/19 campaign.
The Black Cats now reside in the third tier of English football and after a miserable campaign during last term, new boss Jack Ross knows he has a tough task on his hands to revive the club’s fortunes.
New signings haven’t been arriving at the Stadium of Light at a frantic pace, although Jerome Sinclair’s arrival on Wednesday is expected to be the commencement of a small recruitment drive that will see Ross assemble a squad that he feels is capable of promotion back to the Championship at the first attempt.
One area of the pitch that Sunderland might be keen to strengthen in is at the back and ex-Nottingham Forest man Jack Hobbs is a player who is currently a free agent following his departure from the Reds at the end of last season.
The 29-year-old has not played loads of football during the last few seasons and after several injury issues he will be keen to try and reignite his career somewhere during the 2018/19 campaign.
Hobbs possesses a superb level of experience, the ability to pick out a pass and a level of defending that would make him a real coup for Sunderland if they can entice him down to League One.
At 29, Hobbs isn’t over the hill just yet and the fact he would come as a freebie makes him a small risk option for Sunderland to consider.
Years of boardroom mismanagement and excessive spending on players who haven’t met the required standards indicate that new manager Ross will need to be a little bit more astute in his transfer dealings this summer, and Hobbs could certainly prove a decent piece of business if he can get his fitness up to scratch.
His lack of pace would mean that Ross would need to pair Hobbs up with someone a little more mobile, but the fact remains that the Black Cats could do a whole lot worse than the former Hull City and Liverpool man.