Sunderland will be without Charlie Wyke for around eight weeks, and Jack Ross should immediately turn his attention to former Leeds target Jerry Mbakogu.
Sunderland fans’ worst fears have been confirmed, as Wyke is set to miss significant time with the injury he picked up during the loss at Burton.
According to Chronicle Live, the striker has suffered serious damaged to his knee, but the Black Cats could look at free agents to atone for his absence.
While players like Darrent Bent and Gabby Agbonlahor have the experience in England, signing an ageing, lazy striker that would command big wages would go against everything Ross and the new owners are building.
Instead, they should look at Mbakogu, who according to Gianluca Di Marzio was very close to a move to Leeds this summer.
Once dubbed ‘the next Drogba’ by his agent, Mbakogu has the potential to become a cult hero at the Stadium of Light if he signs. The 25 year-old is not the most technically gifted striker you will ever see, but for a free agent his goal record is pretty decent.
The 6 ft 1 in Nigerian scored 28 times in 92 league games for Italian side Carpi before leaving the club this summer. The Drogba comparison comes from his impressive mixture of pace, power and strength, something that could occupy defenders while youngsters like Josh Maja and Jerome Sinclair find space elsewhere on the pitch.
The striker is clearly desperate for a move to England, as his agent was the one pushing the Leeds move. While League One would be a step down for him, a historic club like Sunderland is certainly a place to make a name for yourself.
Mbakogu is not an elite striker, but signing a free agent to cover Maja during Wyke’s absence is not a quest to find an elite striker, rather a quest to find a player who can fit the needs of the team, which the powerful target man certainly can.
So, Sunderland fans, would you like to sign Mbakogu for free? Watch him in action here and let us know by voting in the poll below…