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Sunderland: Clarke-Harris could be Mowbray’s Toney

The January transfer window is almost halfway through completion and Sunderland are yet to replace Ellis Simms at the Stadium of Light.

Tony Mowbray lost one of his frontline options at the top end of the pitch as Premier League side Everton opted to recall the number nine at the start of the month.

This has left the Black Cats in a position where they are now scrambling to replace a player they may have thought they would have until the end of the season, at least.

When asked if he would prefer a loan or a permanent signing in that position, Mowbray said:

“I think both are appropriate. We do need to try and sign our own players but to help our situation a loan isn’t a bad option either.

“I do think the priority is to sign footballers that we think are the right quality to help the club going forward, because loans obviously go back to their parent clubs.”

Earlier this month, it was reported that Sunderland are showing an interest in prolific Peterborough centre-forward Jonson Clarke-Harris.

Would Clarke-Harris be a good signing?

Yes

Yes

No

No

Posh boss Darren Ferguson has revealed that the striker, who journalist Luke Flanagan hailed as “dangerous“, will be sold if an offer of £5m came in.

Whilst it remains to be seen whether or not the Black Cats would be willing to pay that fee, Kristjaan Speakman could land the club’s own version of Ivan Toney by signing the 28-year-old, who Ferguson once dubbed a “winner“.

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Toney, who has scored 12 goals in 16 Premier League matches this season, burst onto the scene with Peterborough by scoring 24 goals in 32 League One games during the 2019/20 campaign – after scoring 16 in 44 the previous year.

The striker then earned himself a move to Championship side Brentford and plundered a whopping 31 goals in 45 matches for the Bees on their way to promotion to the top-flight.

Clarke-Harris replaced Toney at Peterborough for the 2020/21 campaign and produced a stunning season as he scored 31 goals in 45 outings in League One – matching the Brentford gem’s second-division tally.

However, he was unable to replicate the England international’s Championship form as he scored 12 times in 41 games, although his side were relegated from the league instead of challenging for promotion – possibly limiting his goalscoring potential.

Clarke-Harris, who has scored 13 goals in 24 third-tier outings this term, has shown that he has the potential to be a prolific scorer in the Championship, as Toney was, and playing for a team competing for the play-offs could be the platform he needs in order to showcase it.

Therefore, Sunderland, who are one point off the top six, could land their own version of the Brentford marksman by bringing the Peterborough attacker in to replace Simms.