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Sunderland may rue failing to sign Cameron Archer from Aston Villa

Sunderland are reportedly exploring the free agent market to bolster their options at the top end of the pitch before the January transfer window rolls around.

The Black Cats are said to be looking at a potential deal for an out-of-contract striker after Ellis Simms and Ross Stewart suffered injuries.

Tony Mowbray is currently going through Championship matches without a natural number nine option in the starting XI or on the bench, with the likes of Elliot Embleton and Alex Pritchard, among others, being used as makeshift forwards.

Sunderland lined up with two up front in the early parts of the season but Kristjaan Speakman opted against signing a third striker in the summer transfer window.

He brought in Simms on loan from Everton to play alongside Stewart, or to compete with him for a starting place, and ultimately decided that the club did not need a third option in that position.

The sporting director may now rue that decision and could regret not bringing in another one of the striker targets they looked at ahead of the 2022/23 campaign.

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Sunderland striker Ross Stewart in action

Starting off easy... who was Sunderland's top scorer in 2021/22?

Back in June, it was reported that the Black Cats were one of a number of Championship clubs interested in signing Cameron Archer on loan from Aston Villa.

The Premier League side decided to keep hold of the centre-forward and a lack of a convincing proposal from any of the teams eyeing him up may have played a part in that, given that he has only played ten minutes of action in the top-flight so far this season.

He is not getting game time with the Villans and Steven Gerrard’s use of him thus far suggests that he could have been convinced to part ways with the striker on a temporary basis.

Who would you prefer?

Simms

Simms

Archer

Archer

Therefore, Speakman may rue not pushing harder to sign the England youth international, particularly given the current striker situation at the Stadium of Light.

Archer, who journalist Ryan Taylor previously dubbed a “goal machine“, could have been a superb signing alongside Simms, with the pair providing competition for Stewart.

Simms has scored three goals and failed to provide an assist in eight Championship starts this season, which means that he has scored 0.4 goals per start.

Last term, the Villa man scored seven goals and set up one in 18 starts for Preston North End, scoring 0.38 goals per start for Ryan Lowe’s side.

That came after he scored ten times and assisted two in eight appearances for his parent club in the EFL Trophy and EFL Cup combined in the first half of the season, scoring 1.25 goals per start.

Archer’s statistics for Preston and Villa suggest that he could have been a slight upgrade on Simms in front of goal, whilst neither of them are particularly creative in terms of what they offer their teammates at the top end of the pitch.

Now, imagine him and the Toffees man pushing Stewart hard for his position in the team. Sunderland could have had a terrific set of forward options and the 20-year-old could have thrived as the main man in the current injury crisis, which is why Speakman may rue failing to snap him up in the summer.

Article title: Sunderland may rue failing to sign Cameron Archer from Aston Villa

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