Gone are the days of Phil Parkinson’s timid football and Stewart Donald’s tired ownership at Sunderland and under Lee Johnson, the Mackems look a completely different outfit.
They are reinvigorated and are playing with a swagger rarely seen at the Stadium of Light over the last couple of years. For once, there are reasons to be positive.
Sunderland currently sit fourth in League One and now stand a real chance of achieving promotion back to the Championship.
A large factor has been the attacking football that Johnson has been intent on having his players play with.
Aiden McGeady has come back into the fray after being alienated by Parkinson and has been game-changing. No player has recorded more than his 11 assists in the division this term, a tally he’s accomplished in just 17 outings.
He has been different gravy and alongside Charlie Wyke, Johnson has conjured up one of the most feared partnerships in League One.
Though, what if another mouth-watering partnership is on the horizon?
The name on the lips of Sunderland supporters over the last few days has been that of Jermain Defoe. The striker is out of contract at Rangers in the summer and he’s now widely expected to leave on a free transfer.
Campbell commented: “The key is Sunderland getting promoted. That’s the spanner in the works. But if that is the case, I’m sure it’s an offer Jermaine will entertain.”
Defoe might be 38 years of age but in the words of David Moyes, he is a “priceless” entity. The fact of the matter is that the striker scores goals wherever he goes and even if he didn’t play a major part in Rangers’ title win this season, he was still finding the back of the net.
The former England international has scored 29 times for the Gers during his two seasons at the club, a tally that demonstrates he’s still got what it takes.
Indeed, if he features alongside a player like McGeady, it could be phenomenal. The Irish winger has been a revelation this term and has been laying balls on a plate for Wyke with great regularity.
Add a first-class poacher like Defoe into the equation and his assist tally may get even greater.
The duo are both in the twilight of their careers but this partnership has the potential to be devastating. McGeady has a wand of a left foot while Defoe’s finishing ability is second to very few.
For those reasons alone, they must try and tempt him back to the Stadium of Light.