Sunderland are continuing their search for a new striker and according to the Sunderland Echo they have identified Zach Clough as a player they want to add to the squad.
Phil Parkinson completed the shrewd acquisition of Kyle Lafferty last week on a short-term deal but with both Will Grigg and Marc McNulty rumoured to be leaving it seems he is not going to stop there.
Clough is out of favour at the City Ground currently and it is believed that Forest are lining up a loan move for the 24-year-old, with the Black Cats rumoured to be an interested party.
The forward has worked with Parkinson previously, scoring 10 goals in 38 games in two different spells while the pair were at Bolton, and the Sunderland boss is thought to be an admirer of his hard work and commitment.
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Clough may be a hard worker and Sunderland would surely benefit from that, but what they need is a striker who has the ability to change games and score goals.
Lafferty’s experience and height – standing at 6 foot 4 – suggests he could disrupt defences when coming off the bench, but by comparison Clough is too lightweight, and his goalscoring record leaves a lot to be desired.
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Since the beginning of the 2017/18 season he has just two goals in 39 appearances for three different clubs, including one goal in 13 appearances for Rochdale in League One in 2018/19 – that underlines his struggles in front of goal.
Sunderland could certainly do without that.
In fact, over the same period Grigg has 38 goals in 119 games, with his record at Sunderland the biggest reason why that return isn’t as good as it could be.
As a result, bringing in Clough shouldn’t really be entering Parkinson’s thought process, but considering the limited budget he has to work with and the reliance on loan players and free agents – which is all due to Stewart Donald – he has little choice.
The owner’s step to list the club for sale hints that his heart may not be in it anymore, while the £9m investment from an American consortium suggests that he is in need of more financial power, and that could be why the north-east outfit appear to be feeding off scraps.
Find out about more of Sunderland’s transfer dealings , as another high profile player could possibly be on his way out of the club.