With the transfer window due to close on Monday evening, Sunderland have been busy in the last few days.
They welcomed Jake Vokins from Southampton on loan, while they also brought Jordan Jones to the Stadium of Light for a temporary stint from Rangers. Though, it looks like they aren’t done there.
It’s been well documented this month that Sunderland would love to sign a new striker. Their hopes of doing so were dealt a blow on Friday when it was claimed they had a bid rejected for Ross County’s Ross Stewart.
However, they made a second bid and on Saturday, that was reported to have been accepted.
It’s thought that a deal for the 24-year-old will cost in the region of £300,000 with personal terms now being discussed between the player and the football club.
This will be a big relief to Kristjaan Speakman and co.
Before anything else this month, the Mackems needed a centre-forward. Will Grigg and Danny Graham have scored just once between them this season and the brunt of the workload has been done by Charlie Wyke.
By signing Stewart from Ross County, they will be getting a very similar player, coincidentally, one that also has shades of Steven Fletcher.
The Scottish striker scored 23 times in 108 outings for the Black Cats and like Wyke and Stewart, was prolific in the air. In his first season in the northeast, Fletcher won an average of five aerial duels per game and in his final campaign at the club, he won four.
Sunderland’s current target is also Scottish and knows how to win a battle when the ball is off the ground. In fact, he’s even better than Fletcher and Wyke in that regard, winning an average of 5.5 duels per match this season.
The Ross County striker hasn’t been too prolific this term, scoring six goals, but he does provide a game-changing trait. His former manager Stuart Kettlewell once said: “He’s an intelligent guy, which is rare in football and he takes on messages well because he has a burning desire to reach the next level.”
With the creativity Sunderland possesses in the likes of Aiden McGeady and Aiden O’Brien, there’s no reason why Stewart can’t reach the next level in England.
He is still young, he’s hungry and importantly, he suits the club’s style of play.
Target men like Wyke and Fletcher have already succeeded in the red and white – now it’s time for Stewart to do the same.