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Sunderland could replace Ellis Simms by signing Joe Gelhardt

The January transfer window is well underway and Sunderland boss Tony Mowbray may look to improve his squad at the Stadium of Light before the end of the month.

His side are currently eighth in the Championship table and one point off the play-off places and this means that the Black Cats are still in with a shot at reaching the Premier League at the end of the campaign.

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First up in this quiz about Sunderland's 2022, the Black Cats kicked off the year with a memorable 3-3 draw against which team?

With this in mind, Mowbray could want to strengthen his side in order to increase the club’s chances of ending up in the top six and sealing a place in the play-offs.

Sunderland’s squad has already taken a hit this month as Premier League side Everton opted to use their option to recall striker Ellis Simms from his loan on Wearside.

The English centre-forward enjoyed an excellent first half of the campaign with the Black Cats and his departure has come as a blow to the side.

Only Ross Stewart and Alex Pritchard have averaged higher Sofascore ratings for the club than Simms (7.03) in the Championship this season, which suggests that he was one of the team’s top performers prior to returning to Goodison Park.

The 22-year-old plundered seven goals and two assists, whilst creating five ‘big chances’ for his teammates, in 14 starts in the division and this shows that he was able to regularly contribute with quality moments in the final third.

Mowbray could now finally replace Simms, almost halfway through the transfer window, by securing a deal to sign Joe Gelhardt on loan from Leeds United in the coming weeks.

The Black Cats are reportedly interested in a deal to sign the young striker on a temporary basis from the Premier League club and his record at youth level indicates that he could be an excellent signing.

Would Joe Gelhardt be a good signing?

Yes

Yes

No

No

Gelhardt, 20, has produced 20 goals and six assists in 31 U21 appearances for the Whites and managed five goals in five U18 matches for Wigan prior to his move to Elland Road.

The £15k-per-week gem, who was once hailed as “absolutely outrageous” by reporter Beren Cross, has also showcased his quality at first-team level with two goals and five assists in six Premier League starts – playing 34 times in total.

His statistics in the senior and youth teams at Leeds suggest that he has the potential to be a superb addition to Sunderland’s squad as he could thrive in the final third with a run of successive starts at a lower level in the Championship.

He has shown that he has the quality to score and assist goals in the Premier League and Mowbray must now push Kristjaan Speakman to snap the young gem up as Simms’ eventual replacement.