After another campaign in which they somehow avoided the jaws of relegation, the Black Cats off-season was derailed in the summer by the departure of manager Sam Allardyce who was appointed England manager.
David Moyes would eventually arrive on Wearside and faced an uphill battle putting a squad together as it quickly fell apart with injuries and departures.
He's no stranger to a relegation battle either!
Paddy McNair - from Manchester United for a combined fee of £5.5m
This Northern Ireland centre-back is a youth product of Manchester United where he made 27 senior appearances for the Red Devils.
Having previously played under Moyes, a move to Sunderland made sense with first team football at Old Trafford unlikely for the 21-year-old.
With maturity and experience beyond his years, McNair is expected to be a real asset for Sunderland. While trained as a defender, he started out as a midfielder and this versatility could prove invaluable to the club.
Donald Love - from Manchester United for a combined fee of £5.5
Like McNair, Love is another product of United's youth academy but unlike McNair is lacking in experience.
Included in a joint transfer with McNair, Love's few early appearances for Sunderland have been shaky at best.
At this point will just a bench warmer but could really develop given the right amount of game time.
Didier Ndong - from Lorient for £16m
A Gabon international brought in on deadline day for a club record transfer fee, this defensive midfielder will have quite a lot of weight on his shoulders as he tries to carry an injury-hit midfield. Described as the new Michael Essien, Ndong looks like a bit of a gamble by Moyes but it could well pay off if he lives up to his billing.
Has just 48 matches of Ligue 1 experience to his name so may take time to adapt in England but remember, N'Golo Kante arrived in the Premier League after 37 games with Caen, and look what he's accomplished!
With over 220 games for Everton under his belt, this South African midfielder was released by the Toffees at the end of last season and picked up smartly by the Black Cats.
Despite being 34, early signs are good with Pienaar proving he isn't all that rusty and is capable of contributing in a depleted midfield.
Has a strong relationship with Moyes for whom he has featured 190 times.
Given his Manchester United debut by Moyes, Januzaj has again turned to the Scottish manager for more first team football.
Having played little in a year after a few promising performances for United, the Belgium midfielder is a real talent on the ball but needs to be willing to put in the hard yards if he is to live up to his potential.
Spent last season on loan with Borussia Dortmund but failed to make any headway there and will be determined to prove himself on Wearside.
Javier Manquillo - from Atletico Madrid on loan
Another young defender has found his way to Wearside in the form of 22-year-old Manquillo.
Touted as a star of the future, he made his debut for Sunderland against Southhampton and lived up to the billing with an impressive performance.
Prefers playing centre-back but could fill a currently rotating right-back spot for the club.
Experienced Nigerian striker who reunites with Moyes following their time together at Everton.
Anichebe left West Brom in the summer after three subpar seasons which yielded just nine goals in 63 outings in all competitions.
The 28-year-old will be turned to for a point of difference and a late goal during the 2016/17 season.
Mika - from Boavista for undisclosed fee
Sunderland managed to land the Portuguese goalkeeper after the close of the transfer window courtesy of an appeal to FIFA.
A mixed bag from Sunderland this transfer window.
Some promising players have been brought in but an over-reliance on youth, failure to recruit another striker and not signing Yann M'Vila permanently after his successful loan last year mean fans and manager should prepare themselves for another relegation scrap.
Tribal's Transfer Rating: 6/10