Ross Stewart is currently out injured and Ellis Simms is working his way back to full fitness after a knock, which has left the club light in the centre-forward department.
Speakman told the Northern Echo: “I think if our model was to play two up top, we probably would have more numbers in that area because you’d be looking to play two every week. Our structure was to play one so naturally that would have been Ross. Then Ellis would fight that spot out.
He added: “We can go out tomorrow and get a number nine. But if he doesn’t get in front of Leon (Dajaku) or Amad (Diallo), then there is zero point in having him.”
With Simms potentially not being fit enough to start against Preston this weekend, Tony Mowbray must unleash Diallo from the start up front.
The on-loan Manchester United attacker, who has racked up 77 goals and assists in his club career to date, has caught the eye off the bench in Sunderland’s last two matches by creating three chances, including one ‘big chance’, in 44 minutes of action.
He has provided, what journalist Josh Bunting recently described as, “pure quality” as a substitute and he should now be given an opportunity to show what he can do in the starting XI.
Diallo ended the 2021/22 campaign with two goals and five chances created in three Premiership appearances on loan at Rangers and this highlights the level of quality he has the potential to produce on the pitch.
The wide man, who was once dubbed “wonderful” by his Manchester United teammate Luke Shaw, also caught the eye at Old Trafford whilst playing at youth level prior to going out on loan – scoring six goals and setting up four in five appearances for their U21s.
These statistics show that he has the potential to make a big impact at the top end of the pitch if he is able to hit top form in the Championship.
Therefore, Mowbray should unleash him against Preston to see if he is able to make his mark in English football. Indeed, he may make for a better option than Elliot Embleton who struggled in place of Simms against Watford with the attacking midfielder losing 75% of his individual duels and failing to register a single shot on goal or key pass, as he earned a SofaScore rating of 6.5.
Amad must now replace the Englishman in the starting XI at the Stadium of Light on Saturday, leaving Simms on the sidelines or on the bench as an impact substitute as he continues to work his way back to 100% fitness.