According to several reports yesterday, Sunderland have handed a trial to former Everton and Scotland striker James McFadden, who is currently a free agent.
The move seems an odd one at first - why would be taking a journeyman striker on trial when we already have the likes of Steven Fletcher, Louis Saha plus our existing crop of strikers already here? The striking department was incredibly light earlier in the summer, but now we've two established players battling out for one role, not to mention hot property such as Connor Wickham & Ji Dong-Won more than capable of doing a job.
Then you think to yourself, well, maybe he can play further back in our attacking threesome? Then things make a little more sense.
As we noted earlier this month in our Strength In Depth article, the attacking midfielders we have at the club are the envy of most the league, but behind them is little-to-no depth. If one falls down we can plug Seb Larsson in. If two go down then we might have to drop in Ji Dong-Won, a youth, or completely change formation.
So if James McClean continues to underperform, and Adam Johnson's injury continues to play up, then McFadden might provide us with some options? We've got the room in the squad to add a free agent to the mix if we wanted to.
From a personal perspective, I hope that we don't sign him. I can see the logic, but hopefully it's nothing more than a scare tactic to remind James McClean and his recently inflated sense of self-worth that others can come in at any moment and do his job.
Equally I don't think we actually will sign him. O'Neill has brought in trialists before and nothing has materialised, so to suggest that because McFadden is simply here that he'll sign is rather ridiculous.
Perhaps a move will come for McFadden later if McClean still doesn't buck his ideas up - let's face it, he'll still be available.