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Sunderland: Kristjaan Speakman dodged bullet with Joe Pigott

Sunderland have enjoyed themselves in front of goal this season with 16 goals in ten outings in the Championship since their promotion from League One.

Ross Stewart and Ellis Simms have plundered eight goals between them as they have terrified opposition defences from minute one of the campaign.

Last season, the Black Cats beat Wycombe in the play-off final at Wembley to secure their place in the second tier and their goal threat at the top end of the pitch played a major role in their success.

Ross Stewart led the way with a whopping 26 league goals in 49 appearances as he made himself a reliable and lethal striker in front of goal. He was supported by on-loan Everton forward Nathan Broadhead as the Welshman produced ten strikes in 15 starts in the third division of English football.

Things could have been different, though, as the Black Cats were linked with other attackers before they managed to bring Broadhead in from Goodison Park.

Sporting director Kristjaan Speakman dodged a bullet by not signing Joe Pigott from AFC Wimbledon in the summer of 2021. It was reported that Sunderland were willing to drop big wages on the striker in order to beat off Championship and League One competition for his signature.

Did Sunderland dodge a bullet with Pigott?





The Wearside chief ultimately failed to bring the centre-forward to the Stadium of Light as their third tier rivals Ipswich Town swooped to sign him on a three-year deal.

Pigott was coming off the back of scoring an eye-catching 20 goals and providing five assists in 45 appearances for Wimbledon in the 2020/21 campaign. This led to him earning a move to Portman Road and journalist Josh Bunting described him as a “real goalscorer” at the time.

However, he failed to live up to the hype as he endured a rough 2021/22 season with Ipswich in League One. He racked up 20 appearances in the division and managed only two goals, whilst also failing to register a single assist.

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Sunderland striker Ross Stewart in action

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

The 28-year-old’s form for Wimbledon suggested that he had the quality to be a goal machine in Suffolk but he was unable to replicate his efforts from 2020/21.

His poor form convinced the Tractor Boys to sanction a loan move to Portsmouth this term and he has produced one goal and one assist in eight league outings to date.

Therefore, Sunderland certainly dodged a howler by missing out on the Ipswich flop, who has scored 99 career club goals, as he has struggled in the third tier since the start of last season and Broadhead turned out to be an excellent signing for the Black Cats.