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Sunderland can save thousands by unleashing Mitch Curry

Will Grigg is a perplexing figure. In 2016/17, he fired in 19 League One goals as Wigan raced to promotion under Paul Cook.

However, since signing for Sunderland, he has been abject and devoid of any confidence.

To remix his famous song, Grigg is no longer on fire and neither is he ice-cool in front of goal. Instead, he represents a lukewarm figure during a topsy-turvy time for Sunderland.

Since signing for the Mackems in 2019 for a fee of £4m, he has scored just eight times and is yet to find the back of the net this season at all.

When he arrived, Stewart Donald revelled in excitement, hoping he’d score a hat-trick in the play-off final. Of course, that never became a reality.

Fortunately, Phil Parkinson and Lee Johnson have had Charlie Wyke scoring consistently instead. Unfortunately, though, is the fact they don’t have many regular goal scorers behind him.

Or do they? You only need to look at Sunderland’s ever-improving academy to realise there’s a forward in superb form.

The young player in question is Mitch Curry, someone finding the back of the net with fierce regularity for the U23s.

Should Mitch Curry get more first-team chances?

Absolutely

Absolutely

No, not yet

No, not yet

Last season, they failed to win a single game and finished with just one point in PL 2. Though, with Curry leading their line after signing from Middlesbrough, they have picked up a victory in five of their ten outings.

From those matches, Curry has scored seven strikes, including two against Norwich only last Monday. It was a haul of goals that saw him earn his senior debut against Wimbledon on Tuesday evening.

Curry was the lucky beneficiary from a COVID-19 scare at the club, coming on for the final 15 minutes in place of a certain Grigg.

The 21-year-old registered just two touches but it surely won’t be too long before we see a proper breakthrough at first-team level. He only needs to take inspiration from Jack Diamond, someone who is quickly becoming a key figure under Johnson.

Crucially, Curry possesses an ability that not many Sunderland strikers have; speed.

Speaking about the youngster in 2016, Boro U18 coach Gary Liddle said: “Mitchell is young, a first-year scholar. (He has) blistering pace, we’re still working on the other side of his game, his hold up play and his link-up play but that’s coming along nicely.”

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Sunderland's manager Jack Ross gestures during the Portsmouth match, August 2018

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The attacker has had four years to develop since and if he can work on his hold-up play, he could prove a danger to not only Grigg but also Wyke.

He’ll have to work hard to get that point but with Sunderland in the position they’re in, academy players are far more likely to get senior opportunities. If Curry starts to perform, it could well pave the way for Grigg’s exit and an improvement in the wage bill.

He is undoubtedly one to watch.

In other news, Dreyfus could save SAFC millions in the transfer window with a genius system…

Article title: Sunderland can save thousands by unleashing Mitch Curry

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