Sunderland manager Lee Johnson will be hoping to banish the memories of the club's play-off defeat to Lincoln City last season by guiding his side to promotion to the Championship next year.
The 40-year-old has already decided to make some major alterations to his side by releasing a host of players who ultimately failed to deliver the goods on a consistent basis last season.
Currently short of options at centre-back following the expiry of Dion Sanderson's loan spell at the Stadium of Light, it will be intriguing to see whether Johnson decides to strengthen in this particular position in the coming months.
With there being no guarantee that Sunderland will be able to secure a permanent move for Sanderson despite being heavily linked with a switch, they may need to switch their focus to other targets.
One of the players who is thought to be on the Black Cats' radar is AFC Wimbledon defender Terell Thomas.
According to the Daily Mail, Sunderland are reportedly keeping tabs on the 25-year-old who is expected to leave the Dons this summer.
However, they may face an uphill task to secure Thomas' services as Championship sides Blackburn Rovers and Barnsley are also interested.
After winning Wimbledon's Player of the Year award for his displays during the 2019/20 campaign, Thomas' game-time last season was limited due to illness.
The defender made 25 appearances for the Dons in all competitions before being hospitalised with pneumonia which forced him to watch on from the sidelines as his side narrowly avoided relegation to League Two.
GIVEMESPORT's Joshua Cole says...
This could turn out to be somewhat of a coup by Johnson if he can convince Thomas to make the move to the Stadium of Light this summer.
During the past two seasons, the six-foot defender has managed to average respectable WhoScored match ratings of 6.73 and 6.93 in League One.
Having played 76 games at this level during his career, the defender knows exactly what it takes to succeed in this division and thus will fancy his chances of helping the Black Cats reach new heights next year.
Providing that Sunderland are able to seal a deal for Thomas, it wouldn't be at all surprising if they make a barnstorming start to the 2021/22 campaign with him in their side.
However, when you consider that the defender is attracting attention from Blackburn and Barnsley, the Black Cats will need to act quickly in order to win the race for his signature.
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