Sunderland have cast their eye on Burton’s Liam Boyce this month and could launch a £250,000 bid for the striker, according to The Scottish Sun.
The futures of both Will Grigg and Marc McNulty have been cast into doubt over the past few days due to emerging League Two interest in the pair, and that means the Black Cats may need to prepare for outgoings.
Spending money on a player would appear to be a bit unlikely considering the club hasn’t done so since last January, but since there is a clear need for attacking reinforcement due to the form of their forwards Phil Parkinson may be able to persuade Donald.
If signed it would be interesting to see if the Northern Ireland international came into the starting line-up straight away considering how Charlie Wyke has fared recently, providing two goals and 5.2 aerial duels won per game in his side’s six-game unbeaten run.
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Our team of Football FanCast writers offered their verdicts on Boyce, and whether he would be a good acquisition for the north-east outfit.
“Phil Parkinson appears to be reshuffling his attacking department this month, which is a wise move considering Sunderland’s place just outside of the League One playoffs. The likes of Will Grigg and Marc McNulty have been nothing short of disappointing this term, scoring just three times between them.
“The Black Cats have already added Kyle Lafferty to their armoury and while that is unlikely to have their promotion rivals quaking in their boots, a signing like Liam Boyce would be a real statement of intent.
“The 28-year-old’s 14 goals in all competitions this term shows he could slide straight in and continue that rich vein of form, while he also has experience in the Championship and on the international stage, which can only benefit Sunderland beyond this current season. He may not be a popular man at times, but Stewart Donald can pull off a masterstroke with this addition.”
“For me, this seems like a rather good option for Sunderland. Boyce might have only scored eight goals in League One this season but that’s still better than most of the current troopers at Sunderland.
“According to Whoscored, only Chris Maguire has more with nine to his name so this definitely looks like a major scoop for me. Not to mention that the players he could be replacing, namely Will Grigg and Marc McNulty, only have three goals between them. Let’s also not forget Boyce would arrive with both international and Championship experience under his belt. At this point, this looks like a no-brainer.”
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“It’s really hard to get excited about Sunderland potentially signing Liam Boyce.
“If the Black Cats are to get where they want to be this season they need somebody who can come in and hit double figures from now until the end of the campaign, rather than a man who has netted just eight league goals up until this point.
“Yes, he has experience at a higher level, and if he was signing for Sunderland in the summer I’d probably say it was a smart move, but if the north-east outfit want to chip away at the gap between them and the automatic promotion spots then they need somebody better.”
“Of the top 10 League One teams at the moment, only Wycombe Wanderers and Burton Albion have scored fewer goals than Sunderland, showing there is a need for recruits in this area.
“While it may not seem advisable to look to one of those very clubs to address this issue, signing Boyce could turn out to be a smart move. Eight league goals may not seem overly impressive, but Chris Maguire is the only Sunderland player to have outscored him this term.
“In addition, cup goals may not be looked upon with as much prevalence as those scored in the league, but it should be noted that one of them came against Leicester City.”
Meanwhile, Sunderland are also in the market for a former player who’s success at the club is also not guaranteed.