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Five players Sunderland should sign?

Sports Mole has done some scouting for Sunderland and here are five players that we feel would improve the Black Cats.

Okay, hands up - who has heard of David Moberg Karlsson, Modibo Diakite, Cabral, Valentin Roberge or Duncan Watmore? Anybody?

Well, these are the five signings made by Sunderland manager Paolo Di Canio so far this summer. While they may be very good players, they are not proven in the Premier League and so they arrive at the Stadium of Light with an element of risk.

On the plus side only one of the quartet, Moberg Karlsson, cost the Black Cats any money, which should mean that Di Canio has some pennies to spend before the transfer window slam shuts.

Having stayed up by the skin of their teeth last season, it's clear that the squad needs improving. Here are five players that Sports Mole feels would fit the bill.

Danny Rose, Tottenham Hotspur

As it stands, Sunderland do not have an experienced left-back among their ranks. Last season Rose had the role, but the England Under-21 international has returned to the comforts of his parent club.

He impressed with the Black Cats but whether he will get a game at White Hart Lane next season remains to be seen.

If Spurs do make the 22-year-old available for a permanent switch, there would be fewer better options available to Sunderland. Although he started his career as an attacker, Rose showed that he is a very able defender.

What could also work in Sunderland's favour is the fact that the former Leeds youngster has said on numerous occasions how much he enjoyed his time on Wearside.

Robert Snodgrass and Danny Rose battle for the ball on December 2, 2012© PA Photos

Fabio da Silva, Manchester United

It looks increasingly likely that Phil Bardsley, and his £50 notes, will be on their way out of the Stadium of Light before too long, leaving Sunderland short in the right-back department.

The likes of Craig Gardner and even Sebastian Larsson at a push could do a job there, but they are more comfortable in midfield.

While he may have had a bit of nightmare loan spell at Queens Park Rangers last year, Fabio has not all of a sudden become a bad player. Sir Alex Ferguson obviously thought a lot of him, having started the Brazilian in the 2011 Champions League final against Barcelona.

In many ways he is a similar player to Rose, but perhaps with a bit more flair. The 22-year-old, like his twin Rafael da Silva, is tenacious, possesses pace and can also pose a threat up the other end of the pitch. The Brazilian would also provide some versatility as he is comfortable on either flank.

Man United may not be keen to part with him permanently, but with Leighton Baines maybe joining soon, they may be open to the prospect of another loan switch.

Jonathan de Guzman, Fabio Da Silva© PA Photos

Shaun Maloney, Wigan Athletic

No disrespect to Gardner, Alfred N'Diaye and Lee Cattermole, but they are not the most creative of trios. Okay Gardner did weigh in with six Premier League goals, but he only made two assists.

The spark in the Sunderland side is supposed to come from Larsson and Stephane Sessegnon, but both were very inconsistent. Add to that the fact that Di Canio is believed to be willing to part with the latter of that duo and it's clear that Sunderland need some bolstering in the attack-minded midfield department.

It's sometimes a risk buying a player from a relegated side, but Maloney's statistics suggest that his arrival would not be a gamble.

In the last two seasons for Wigan he has scored 10 goals, but more importantly has set up 12 for his teammates. His free kicks and corners would also bring a serious goal threat.

Sunderland were also lacking in the wide areas at times, with Adam Johnson and James McClean frustratingly inconsistent when it came to crossing the ball into the danger zone. That is another quality that Maloney would provide - he is able to pick out his own players with relative ease.

Wigan's Shaun Maloney celebrates an equaliser against Arsenal on May 14, 2013© PA Photos

Gary Hooper, Celtic

Some may have found it amusing at first when Danny Graham failed to the find the net during the first few weeks of his time as a Sunderland player. By the end of the season though and 11 appearances later, the major emotion towards the striker was one of pity.

It looked as though the January signing from Swansea City could have played until midnight each time he went out on to the pitch and he wouldn't have scored.

What Graham would have given to have had even half the season that Hooper had for Celtic. He scored 31 times, eclipsing his previous totals of 29 and 22 in the campaigns that proceeded it.

Granted he may have been finding the net in the Scottish Premier League, which is clearly nowhere near as strong as the English top flight, but that is no reason to suggest that he could not produce similar form south of the border.

He may not score the number of goals that would have Sunderland fans dreaming of Kevin Phillips in his prime, but with his clinical touch, anything between 15 and 20 goals shouldn't be beyond the 25-year-old. Obviously, he'd need the service - step forward Maloney!

Celtic forward Gary Hooper celebrates a goal against Dundee United on January 22, 2013© PA Photos

Matej Vydra, Udinese

It would be fair to say that without Steven Fletcher's goals, Sunderland would have been relegated. The Scottish international's injury towards the end of the season really hurt the Black Cats.

Although he is expected to be fit for the new campaign, he would need some help, even if Hooper was to arrive. There is no telling if Graham will rediscover the eye for goal that he had at both Watford and Swansea, while speculation has linked Connor Wickham with a move away.

One thing that both Fletcher and Graham provide is goals, but it would be fair to say that neither are the quickest of centre-forwards. To be frank, they are more comfortable inside the penalty area than outside of it.

It may have been in the Championship, but Czech Republic international Vydra displayed on loan at Watford last season that he possesses the qualities that are lacking in the other pair. Not that he can't score goals either, having found the net 20 times for the Hornets.

With his future at Udinese extremely uncertain, Sunderland could benefit with a bid in the region of £8m. Failing that, a loan to buy offer may win over their Italian counterparts.

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Sunderland manager Paulo Di Canio celebrates after his side's goal against Southampton on May 12, 2013
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Today's Olympic highlights header

Wednesday's key events

· Team GB have dominated the men's coxless fours in recent Olympics, winning on each of the last five occasions, but this year they face some stiff competition. They are one of four rowing medal contenders for Great Britain today (2.10am)

· Katie Ledecky and Ariarne Titmus face off again in the women's 200m freestyle final, with the latter having already come out on top in the 400m event (2.41am)
· Team GB's Abbie Wood is among the medal contenders in the women's 200m individual medley final, while teammate Alicia Wilson will also take part. USA's Kate Douglass was the fastest qualifier, while world and Olympic record holder Katinka Hosszu is also involved (3.45am)
· Katie Ledecky could make it two golds in one morning as she goes into the 1500m freestyle final as heavy favourite, having broken the Olympic record in qualifying (3.54am)
· Team GB were by far the fastest qualifiers for the men's 4x200m freestyle relay final and will therefore be favourites for another gold in the pool (4.26am)

· Team GB take on New Zealand in the first men's semi-final, having been beaten by reigning champions Fiji but then come from behind to overcome USA on day two (3am)
· The sevens gold medal match takes place at Tokyo Stadium, with the winner of Great Britain vs. New Zealand taking on either Argentina or Fiji (10am)

· Joe Fraser and James Hall compete for Team GB in the men's all-around final (11.15am-2.10pm)

· Anna Shackley will take part in the women's road time trial (from 3.30am)
· Geraint Thomas and Tao Geoghegan Hart have medal ambitions for Great Britain in the men's road time trial, although both will need to recover from the crash they suffered on Saturday (6am)

· Jack Laugher bids to retain his men's 3m synchro diving title alongside new partner Daniel Goodfellow (7am)

· Charlotte Dujardin will look to add to her already legendary status with a third successive Olympic individual dressage title (9.30am-1.25pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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