This article is part of Football FanCast’s The Chalkboard series, which provides a tactical insight into teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Sunderland have so far had limited success in attack this season, but bringing Marc McNulty into the side on a regular basis could be the right way to go.
Since arriving at the club Phil Parkinson has placed a lot of faith in Will Grigg, at least in the league, but so far the striker has continued to underwhelm, and has just two goals to boast of as a result.
One of those goals came against Tranmere, too, when the game was already won, so it is fair to suggest that the Black Cats could do with a more influential figure in the attacking final third.
McNulty already has more league goals than the Northern Irishman despite starting just six league games, and the energy he provides up-front means he can impact games in a more effective fashion than Grigg, even when he’s off-form.
He has shown previously that he is suited to playing in a lone role or as part of a two, notching 28 goals for Coventry in the 2017/18 season, when he was often partnered with Stuart Beavon in attack.
The Scot has struggled to hit the same kind of form since but if the team was built around him, and he had the confidence from his manager, then he could begin to show why he was brought in over the summer.
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The 27-year-old has shown throughout his career that he has a number of attributes which make him well-suited to League One football.
His hold-up play could be ideal in doing the hard graft up-front, freeing up Grigg or Chris Maguire to take advantage of the space he creates by drawing in defenders.
On top of that, according to Berkshire Live journalist Jonathan Low, he also works tirelessly by running into channels, and when his confidence is up it can be difficult to contain his poaching instinct.
As a result, he is very much the type of forward the Black Cats could do with – someone who can keep the ball in the opposition half and add pressure on the defence, as too often under Parkinson Sunderland have failed to provide an attacking threat.
That is shown by the fact they have scored more than one goal in just one match under him, and until he makes changes to the forward line that looks set to continue.