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Sunderland could land Patrick Roberts upgrade in Anthony Scully

Sunderland have enjoyed a strong return to playing in the Championship for the first time since the 2017/18 campaign.

The Black Cats are currently fifth in the table after five matches and have only lost once – against league leaders Sheffield United – after winning the League One play-off final to earn promotion to the second tier.

Kristjaan Speakman has bolstered Alex Neil’s squad over the summer with the likes of Daniel Ballard and Ellis Simms, and he has until next Thursday to make any further signings.

The transfer deadline is fast approaching and the Black Cats manager has made it clear that he wants more players coming in, recently admitting that he expects one or two signings before the final few days of the window.

It has been reported that he wants four or five new additions in total, and one player with whom the club have been linked – alongside Sheffield United and other Championship sides – is Lincoln winger Anthony Scully.

Sunderland must now push ahead with a deal to sign the former West Ham academy attacker, as he could be a big upgrade on Patrick Roberts.

Should Sunderland sign Scully?





The Englishman has only played 42 minutes of action in the second tier this season, averaging a SofaScore rating of 6.45. This came after he made 17 appearances for the club in League One last term and contributed with two goals and one assist, playing as a wing-back and a winger at times.

He failed to make a significant impact in the final third during 2021/22 and he is now struggling to force his way into getting regular minutes in a higher division.

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Sunderland striker Ross Stewart in action

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Meanwhile, Scully played 35 games for Lincoln in the same league last season and produced 11 goals and seven assists, creating 11 ‘big chances’ in total.

The Irishman, who Tony Carr once praised for having an “eye for a goal”, managed that after scoring 11 goals and setting up four in 24 League One starts in the 2020/21 campaign.

These statistics suggest that Scully – who has 80 goal contributions in 159 career matches at youth and senior level – has far more to offer at the top end of the pitch than Roberts. He has shown that he can score more goals and create more chances in League One than the 25-year-old, which indicates that he would also stand a better chance of making the step up to the Championship.

At the age of 23, he is a young player with the potential to grow and improve even further. This means that Sunderland would be signing someone with significant resale value and the scope to become a better player in the future, whilst also being an upgrade on Roberts in the here-and-now, and that is why Speakman must snap him up.