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Jermain Defoe's contract extension at Sunderland should help with transfers

With Defoe committed to the club for the medium-term, Sunderland should be able to recruit around him.

Jermain Defoe's new contract extension, committing him to Sunderland until 2019, represents as good a piece of business as manager Sam Allardyce could have hoped for in the early close season.

The former England striker -- and many feel he should have been in Roy Hodgson's Euro 2016 squad, if only for use as an impact substitute -- was the essential difference in Sunderland's latest battle against relegation. Quite simply, his goals kept the team up. Any attacker capable of scoring 15 times in...

Pickford & Watmore shine but Allardyce must strengthen Sunderland

As Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce reflects on how to avoid yet another season blighted by the threat of relegation, he can take early encouragement from the international exploits of two players who do not usually make his starting XI.

Goalkeeper Jordan Pickford and striker Duncan Watmore both made important contributions as England Under 21s won the Toulon Tournament, beating the hosts France 2-1 in the final last Sunday.

Pickford and Watmore, both 22 but eligible for inclusion in the squad...

 By Chris Wright

Sam Allardyce celebrates Sunderland's Premier League survival in style

Sam Allardyce celebrated Sunderland's survival in style.

Having managed against all odds to successfully retain Sunderland's top-flight status for at least another year, you could forgive Sam Allardyce for wanting to let his hair down for a while.

Sure enough, "Big Sam" has been captured on camera dancing as if nobody was watching while partying the night away during a DJ set at a poolside rave.

Sunderland stage another relegation escape in Premier League

With the season over, it's time to assess Sunderland's 2015-16. Here's a look at the club's campaign under Sam Allardyce.

Where will Sunderland finish next season?

Season in a sentence

Sunderland again seemed a lost cause but if recovery under Allardyce was slow and agonising, safety was eventually achieved with time to spare and hope that brighter times may at last lie ahead.


Four games stand out as contenders and Sunderland scored three in each of them.

Many supporters would pick the 3-0 home defeat of Newcastle United, also...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Premier League season in a sentence as Leicester crowned champions

ESPN FC's Steve Nicol reflects on the Premier League season.

It was another memorable Premier League campaign. Our ESPN FC bloggers take a quick look at how their team fared in the 2015-16 season.

LEICESTER: Leicester ended 2015-16 with a fairytale Premier League title, the PFA player of the year, a Premier League scoring record and Champions League football -- so not bad, then! -- Ben Jacobs

ARSENAL: Not good enough to sustain a title challenge but not bad enough to drop out of the top four -- stop me if you think you've heard this one before. -- 

Jeremain Lens excels in Sunderland's stress-free finale at Watford

Sunderland ended a traumatic season with a relaxed, entertaining 2-2 draw at Watford, avoiding defeat despite manager Sam Allardyce's gamble on placing trust in players on the fringes of his first-team squad.

There were nine changes from the team that started the season-saving 3-0 win against Everton on Wednesday, but it was game that could have still been won.

For the large travelling contingent of Sunderland supporters, in party mood after yet another late escape from relegation, it was probably...