Sunderland simply aren’t at the races right now.
They should be buoyed by the potential of a takeover, but instead, there is still an incredibly negative atmosphere surrounding the Stadium of Light.
They can’t hold onto leads and their attack is far from flowing – heading into this weekend, Sunderland had scored the second-lowest number of goals in the top eight so far.
That, clearly, is far from ideal. They are behind their promotion rivals and if they don’t score more goals, they will be consigned to yet another year in League One.
Danny Graham has still only scored two strikes in 54 matches for Sunderland while Will Grigg has yet to find the net all season.
For someone who cost the club £4m in 2019, you want a lot more for your money.
Sunderland’s issues have only got worse with the news that Lynden Gooch will miss the next month. Aiden McGeady is building up his fitness and with Elliott Embleton back in the first-team fray, they do have solutions.
However, what if Phil Parkinson thought outside the box? One player he could consider is 20-year-old Jack Diamond, someone with just nine first-team appearances to his name.
He spent last season on loan at Harrogate Town where he scored three goals in their triumphant promotion campaign from the National League to League 2 and since returning, he has been superb for Sunderland’s U23s.
The versatile forward has scored three goals in three Premier League 2 outings, while he also netted for the senior side in the Papa John’s trophy.
Having made two appearances in the league this term, he is clearly in Parkinson’s plans but he needs to play more, especially with the lack of fluidity in the Black Cats’ attack right now.
After all, Diamond had a brilliant summer, being hailed by both Luke O’Nien and Phil Parkinson.
His teammate said back in September: “There are a few of the youngsters who have been impressing. Jack Diamond has come back and done really well, so we have that healthy competition.”
Parkinson added: “Jack we’ve been pleased with, he’s got real pace and power. There are areas of his game he’s got to get better at but you’d expect that for a young player.”
It’s evident why he needs more regular action.