Sunderland 2015-16 player ratings: Who has shone this season?

Sunderland narrowly avoided relegation this season but which players contributed most to their safety?

Sunderland 2015-16 player ratings: Who has shone this season?
Photo source: The Chronicle

The Black Cats masterminded yet another late escape from the drop this season, but who were the key players in the relegation run-in?

The goalkeepers

Vito Mannone- 9/10. The Italian ended the season in fantastic form and has even been linked with a national team call up for Euro 2016. The shotstopper was responsible for keeping three clean sheets in the last six league games of the season.

Jordan Pickford- 5/10. The 22-year-old only made three appearances for the club this season, but conceded nine goals in that time. However, he is still young and has showed signs of promise in the past. There is still high hopes for the player.

The defenders

DeAndre Yedlin- 8/10. The American loanee swiftly showed his potential and took Billy Jones' place at right back. The youngster improved massively and was a big player towards the end of the season. It looks like Sunderland will make a transfer bid for the player over the summer.

John O'shea- 5/10. The veteran didn't feature much between March and May but came into the side for the last few games. Sam Allardyce told the media this week that he feels John would make a 'great manager' in the future. Is this Irishman planning on hanging up his boots?

Younes Kaboul- 9/10. An ever-present in the Sunderland side over the past few months. Allardyce has turned his career around and got the best out of him. An unlikely hero towards the end of the season. 

Lamine Kone- 10/10. A god amongst men in Sunderland after signing in January. The Frenchman has been a huge hit on Wearside in recent months. From leaving both Yaya Toure and James McClean in a heap on the floor, to scoring two goals which kept his side in the top flight, Kone has been well recieved by fans. Arguably Sunderland's best signing in January.

Patrick Aanholt- 8/10. Another constant in the team this year. A player who has shone for the majority of the campaign. Consistent.

Jan Kirchoff- 9/10. Signed originally to play in central defence, Kirchoff was moved into a defensive midfield role and made it his own. His woeful debut against Tottenham brought doubts about why he had been signed but it proved to be a one-off. Another consistent performer since January.

There is no doubting this year's player of the season. | Image source: Getty Images
There is no doubting this year's player of the season. | Image source: Getty Images

The midfielders

Wahbi Khazri- 7/10. Another player brought in in the winter window. Khazri started his life in the North-East well but wasn't the most consistent player. He did chip in with goals and assists, however. 

Seb Larsson- 6/10. Last season's player of the year. Didn't have the best of times this year and only made 18 appearances. Still remains a fan-favourite. 

Lee Cattermole- 9/10. The man who never fails to roll his sleeves up and get stuck in. Captained the side fantastically again and played a big part towards the end of the season. 

Yann M'Vila- 7/10. A loanee who started quite well at Sunderland. His performances seemed to become poorer towards the latter stages of the season. Fans may still welcome a permanent deal for him.

Jeremain Lens- 7/10. An up and down season for the Dutchman. From fall outs with the manager, to impressive performances towards the end of the season. His final game last weekend, in which he scored one and set one up, proved he could potentially be a big player for the club.

Duncan Watmore- 8/10. Spent a few months on the sidelines but before that he was a big player. Loved by the fans and the staff, it looks like Watmore has a bright future ahead of him.

The attackers

Fabio Borini- 8/10. Had another good season on Wearside. Could have provided more goals but his general play was impressive. He seems to have got the hang of playing out wide now.

Dame N'Doye- 4/10. An arrival that didn't have much of an impact. Not one of Big Sam's best signings.

Jermain Defoe- 11/10. A fantastic season for Defoe. His goals have undoubtedly saved Sunderland this campaign. He has shown that even at 33 years of age he can still deliver on the big stage.