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Sunderland after League One’s top scorer; but is he any good? The crack from those who watch him

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Sunderland have been linked with Peterborough striker Jack Marriott - is he any good, or is he another James Vaughan?

Peterborough United v Northampton Town - Checkatrade Trophy
Jack Marriott (R)
Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images

Sunderland’s last hunting trip for a striker who was banging them in down in League One hasn’t exactly worked out.

James Vaughan hit 24 goals for Bury last season to be the division’s second highest scorer. But making the step back up to the Championship, the 29-year-old has struggled to replicate his form in front of goal and has just two to his name from seventeen outings.

Perhaps as a result, press reports suggesting Sunderland are one of a host of clubs monitoring Peterborough’s Jack Marriott were met with a generally underwhelmed response round these parts yesterday.

Is James Vaughan the proof that shopping in League One is a risk?
Image: Sunderland AFC

The Posh hitman has 17 goals to his name this season - better than one every other game. Marriott was on the books of Ipswich Town as a youngster before landing at League Two Luton after various loan spells.

Scoring 12 goals in 47 appearances last season as the Hatters reached the League Two play-offs, Peterborough swooped in the summer to land the nimble goalscorer.

Northampton Town v Luton Town
Marriott playing for Luton last season
Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images

The 23-year-old certainly has age on his side, but is being joint top scorer in League One any indication that Marriott can make the step up into the Championship? The evidence from Vaughan’s first half season at the Stadium of Light would indicate it would be a risk for Sunderland, especially given that Chris Coleman may yet have to replace Lewis Grabban.

Reports suggest Black Cats representatives were watching Marriott the other night. So what would they have seen? We asked two Peterborough fans to give us the lowdown.

“A complete striker... almost”

Peterborough chairman Darragh MacAnthony has already said Jack Marriott won’t be sold for the £2.5m reported in the press this week. But he also stated that he thinks his striker will get 27+ goals this season - so you can see why clubs higher up the league would be watching him.

Jack would be a complete striker if he improved his return rate from positions where he’s been through on goal and hasn’t managed to put it away.

Jack scored his first hattrick in a posh shirt in 4-1 away win at Bristol Rovers in August and has been banging them in ever since. His longest spell without scoring this season is four games. Not bad for a mid-table side.

Posh are known for producing players who have gone to play higher up in the leagues, including Dwight Gayle who plays for Newcastle and Conor Washington who hasn’t quite made the same impact yet at Loftus Road.

Keaton Davies: @keatondavies_

“if you have £3m+ and the patience to allow him to adapt ...”

When Peterborough United signed Jack Marriott we knew we were getting a hard-working, nuisance of a forward; but nobody bargained for what we’ve had week in, week out, at the ABAX Stadium.

We knew we were getting a player full of effort, but nobody expected the consistent scoring that’s somewhat carried us at times.

It’s not that he’s the best forward we’ve ever had, but he’s firmly made himself a fans’ favourite. There can be a game in which you forget he’s playing, however, he’s suddenly one-on-one with the goalkeeper, slotting in the game-winning goal. Great team player and will blossom with a good partner up front.

I feel he would be a great asset to a Championship team. Sunderland, though? I’d be unsure if he could cope with the role he’d have there just yet. Especially considering I don’t think we’d sell for anything below £3 million. We have previous for getting big fees for our successes up front. Jack is exactly that.

He would be a more than worthwhile addition, but he’d excel far more in a team already performing well.

He has Championship-level talent, it just depends whether you have £3m+ and the patience for him to adapt at a higher level. If yes to both, then SIGN him. But the Blue Borough blood in my veins has me begging you to let him stay...

Kenny Brown: @kennybrown23 -

The verdict

Aston Villa are the other Championship club being touted around as being after a striker in January. Steve Bruce has also been linked with a move for Marriott, though the former Sunderland boss has been quick to point out he has no money to spend in the upcoming transfer window.

As for Sunderland, Chris Coleman will surely need to land two front men after Christmas, especially if Lewis Grabban leaves. Marriott could be an option and it would be refreshing to see the Black Cats sign some promising young talent instead of ageing journeyman on the cheap.