Sunderland are yet to conclude any transfer business this winter but despite the news that Stewart Donald will look to sell the club, it looks as though deals could still be wrapped up.
The Northern Echo claim that the striker is again a target for Sunderland and they will look to pursue the Sheffield Wednesday man.
Phil Parkinson’s men have had him on their radar since a spell with Barnsley and they almost turned to Winnall before opting for Will Grigg last January.
With all of this in mind, we asked those at Football FanCast to give their verdicts on whether it would be a good move. Here’s what they had to say.
“It’s about time Sam Winnall’s Sheffield nightmare comes to an end and Sunderland could be the perfect destination. The 28-year-old has struggled for game time ever since joining the club, most evidently seen when he was shipped out on loan to league rivals Derby County within six months of his arrival at Hillsborough. He has just five goals in 38 games having joined the club three years ago in the 2017 January window.
“Although, that shouldn’t put off the Black Cats as he would be a mighty addition in the doldrums of League One. Across several clubs, he has managed 30 goals in 79 appearances in the division, which is a far better record than Chris Maguire, who has 31 in 122 matches, per Transfermarkt.
“Winnall needs to revive his career and the north-east could be an ideal location given that there’s a big sleeping giant waiting to be awakened. Phil Parkinson must pull out all the stops for the centre-forward, it would be a win-win for all those involved.”
“The ultimate aim is for Sunderland to reach the Championship, so why would they want to sign a striker who turns 29 later this month and has hardly excelled at that level now on a permanent deal?
“Winnall may have an overall record of 22 goals in 72 matches in England’s second-tier during his career, but with 14 of those coming in 36 outings during the 2015/16 campaign, it means he only has eight in 36 since.
“That simply isn’t good enough if the Mackems are to win promotion this season, as they would be left with an uninspiring centre-forward they ultimately wouldn’t be able to rely on to get them goals in the Championship.
“Phil Parkinson may well need a new striker in a similar mold to Winnall at the Stadium of Light this month to boost his team’s promotion aspirations, but he isn’t the answer. They need to be more ambitious and look for someone younger with more potential to be a hit in the Championship.”
“With 30 goals in 79 games in League One, Sam Winnall would certainly represent a tried-and-trusted option for Sunderland to move for. But when looking at his career numbers, is he a significant enough upgrade on someone like Chris Maguire? When comparing their stats from when the duo have played in the Championship, Maguire comfortably betters his counterpart in all the key areas.
“He takes more shots per game (2.1), provides triple the number of key passes (1.7), and completes five times as many dribbles (1) as Winnall. The Black Cats need to spend a bit more wisely, and Winnall doesn’t fit the bill. Sunderland should turn their attentions elsewhere, and avoid making a swoop for a man who has proven he is not an upgrade on Maguire.”
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“Signing a forward from the Championship may well look appealing at first glance but when it’s someone low on confidence, you must reconsider.
“Winnall has scored 30 goals in League One throughout his career but he’s scored just once this term and has endured a nightmare spell at Sheffield Wednesday. This is a player in need of a career revival but heading to a side full of problems would be the wrong move for player and club.
“Sunderland have only won four times under Parkinson and there was a reason they favoured Grigg last January. He’s only netted one goal this season and rather ironically could be dislodged by Winnall if he does arrive. However, there was a reason the hierarchy went with the Northern Irishman a year ago.
“The Black Cats may need more goals, scoring just 20 in 17 matches under the new management but this doesn’t feel like the right answer to their issues.”