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Sunderland: Phil Smith claims Joe Gelhardt still on the club’s radar

Sunderland: Phil Smith claims Joe Gelhardt still on the club's radar - Championship News

Journalist Phil Smith believes that Sunderland still hold a keen interest in young striker Joe Gelhardt.

The Lowdown: Mowbray wants more attacking options

It has been widely reported that Sunderland are in the market for a new striker this month having lost Ellis Simms when his loan deal was unexpectedly cut short earlier this month.

While Simms, who scored seven goals in the first half of the season for Sunderland, could indeed still end up back on Wearside this month himself if Everton are able to recruit a new forward, Sunderland are seemingly keeping their options open.

They are said to be one of several Championship clubs now looking to bring in Leeds United youngster Gelhardt on a temporary basis until the end of the season, with the striker yet to start a league game this term.

The Latest: Sunderland still keen on Gelhardt

Despite strong reported interest from Wigan Athletic, Smith has suggested on The Sunderland Echo YouTube channel that the Black Cats remain interested in bringing the talented forward to Wearside.

He said: “One of the players that they like – for obvious reasons, he’s one of the most talented young strikers in the country – is Joe Gelhardt.

“Now, Gelhardt, we all thought was going to Wigan and may still go to Wigan on loan. It’s a club that he loves; he came through the academy there before he was sold when the club went into administration.

“So I think the expectation is that he will still go back to Wigan, but Sunderland are one of a few clubs who are still very much in the race, and obviously what Sunderland can offer Leeds is a pressurised environment and a team playing really well, and that could be really beneficial to Gelhardt’s development.”

The Verdict: Black Cats keen for more firepower

It would be a great piece of business for Sunderland to bring in a young player with Premier League experience – much like they did over the summer with Amad Diallo – as it would immediately ease the pressure on Ross Stewart.

The pressure may well already be starting to get to the Sunderland striker in terms of goals and having to lead the line effectively every single week after missing his penalty against Middlesbrough last weekend – but he fortunately managed to net the rebound.

Given that a deal that would see Gelhardt join Wigan on loan appears to be moving very slowly, Sunderland could do a lot worse than showing him what’s happening at the Stadium of Light and how Mowbray is currently developing a number of young players to try to turn his head and get him in a red and white shirt.

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