Sunderland made a deadline day move for Southend striker Charlie Kelman, according to the Southend Echo, but saw their bid turned away by the relegation-threatened club.
Tottenham also approached the Shrimpers but to no avail, with Sol Campbell’s side clearly determined to keep hold of the 18-year-old.
It is easy to see why, too, as Kelman scored against Lincoln at the weekend to take his tally to five goals from nine games for Southend this term, in what is his debut season. In many ways, Kelman has been a shining light in a dismal season for his team, and if Southend are to have any chance of building on their weekend win then they will need Kelman to continue his form.
The Black Cats instead opted for Antoine Semenyo on loan from Bristol City but their targeting of a young and impressive forward should at least be recognised as a positive step. Kelman’s form suggests he’d serve Sunderland well in the third tier and perhaps beyond given his age and room for potential, with Spurs’ reported interest indicating that a bright future could lie ahead.
Phil Parkinson opted for experience in signings such as Kyle Lafferty and Bailey Wright but his pursuit of Kelman suggests that youth is an option for him also, and Sunderland may need that balance if they are to return to the Championship.
Kelman is certainly a player who should remain on their radar given his return in a struggling side, with only one Southend player – Sam Mantom – achieving an average of more than 1.5 key passes per game, which highlights the poor service the youngster has had to work with.
As a result, he could score even more if he made a move to the north-east, and Sunderland are in need of a goalscorer given their current senior strikers have contributed five league goals combined.
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