The Chalkboard: Will Grigg can fire Sunderland up next season

Sunderland are staring down the barrel at another campaign in League One, but they already have the division’s greatest weapon going into next season, and the stats prove it.

After a second Wembley heartbreak in the space of a few months, it would be all too easy for Stewart Donald and the new Sunderland leadership to give up on Jack Ross and restart their project.

Plenty of fans criticised Ross for the way he set his team up against Charlton, and rightly so as the Scot was far too conservative, but rebuilding takes time.

And crucially, the Black Cats already have one of the most crucial cogs needed for any club attempting to earn promotion – a goalscorer.

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On the chalkboard

Will Grigg was extremely poor after joining Sunderland in January, mustering up just four league goals and eventually losing his place to Charlie Wyke.

However, the Black Cats’ squad is incomplete, and the likes of George Honeyman and Max Power are not creative enough to feed the Northern Irishman the type of consistent chances he gobbled up at Wigan.

Add to that the fact that the 27 year-old has struggled with injury throughout his time at the Stadium of Light and it’s no surprise he has been well below par.

However, with a full pre-season under his belt and hopefully more playmaking ability on the club’s radar in the transfer market, Grigg should flourish next season.

In the four seasons in League One in which he has played more than 2,000 minutes, the striker has scored 19, 20, 25 and 19 league goals respectively.

That is unbelievable consistency in a physical league that so often stifles top talent. With more playing time, a consistent attacking system and a full pre-season to prepare and gain fitness, defences in the third tier should be terrified.