Sunderland: Journalist doubts a free-agent striker arriving
Journalist James Copley doesn’t believe Sunderland will be bringing in a free-agent striker anytime soon.
The Lowdown: Sunderland light at striker
Sunderland only managed to bring in youngster Joe Gelhardt on loan during the January transfer window to address their striker woes, having lost Ellis Simms to Everton and Ross Stewart going down with a season-ending injury.
That could well prove to be a costly decision, especially given the Black Cats are just two points outside the play-offs as things stand, so they have a great chance of securing back-to-back promotions.
Copley took to Twitter on deadline day to vent his disappointment over the club’s lack of ability or willingness to recruit another striker before the transfer window slammed shut and he certainly doesn’t expect them to move in the free agency market.
The Latest: Free agents not likely to arrive
Despite Sunderland’s lack of options at striker, Copley admitted on The Roar podcast that he isn’t thrilled by the options on the free-agent market, and therefore can’t see any of them joining the Black Cats.
He said: “After the deadline, you sort of look at the free-agent market and you start trawling lists of players: Mexicans, and 32-year-old Germans, and Russians and all that sort of stuff.
Should Sunderland have signed a striker?
“From what we know about the club and how they operate, I can’t see that as a market they would explore.”
The Verdict: Mowbray been left very short
Tony Mowbray is very unlikely to be pleased with how the club have handled the striker situation as he’s lost his top scorer to a long-term injury and hasn’t been able to replace him.
While bringing in Gelhardt was something of a coup for Sunderland given his pedigree and talent – he has already registered nine goal involvements for Leeds United – the 20-year-old now has a heap of pressure to hit the ground running.
Even if Gelhardt does that this weekend against Millwall, he then has to keep that up until the end of the season, and considering he’s never started more than five games in a league campaign before, he could very easily burn out in a few months’ time.