Sunderland journalist Phil Smith has given two reasons why Sunderland couldn’t bring in a player like Ivan Toney during the January transfer window.
Stewart Donald explained at the start of the January transfer window that he’d be placing sufficient funds in the kitty for Phil Parkinson to strengthen the squad.
However, that never really materialised as they prioritised free agents and loan deals. The Black Cats brought Kyle Lafferty to the club on a free transfer while Declan John, Bailey Wright, Josh Scowen and Antoine Semenyo agreed temporary terms in the north-east.
With that in mind, it was always going to be difficult to attract a player with the stature of Toney who caught the eye of the Championship last month.
However, during a Q&A session on the Sunderland Echo, one fan declared that he thought it wasn’t unreasonable to expect his side to demand signing the very best players in League One.
In response, Smith detailed the following:
“On Ivan Toney, I believe Peterborough said he would cost above £8 million. Unfortunately, Sunderland’s decline means that just isn’t possible at the moment.
“Secondly, there were teams near the top of the Championship (Brentford being one) who would have moved were he really available.
“The reality is that for these players on their way up in the game, they want to give themselves the best possible chance of getting into the Premier League.”
That in itself would have made it an incredibly difficult deal for Sunderland to complete, while the fact that they’re also in League One would have been off-putting for Toney’s side.
However, if a deal had been tied up it would have been an inspired buy from the Black Cats who are chasing promotion back to the second tier of English football.
The 23-year-old striker has found the net 19 times and also laid on four assists for his teammates. Considering Sunderland are struggling for goals among their forward line, it’s safe to say the attacker would have played an influential role for the rest of the season.
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