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SAFC Target Watch: Four fresh faces to ponder as Sunderland links continue for summer rebuild

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Prepare to be dazzled once more; Sunderland have been linked with a host of hot-prospects to kick start a summer rebuild in recent weeks. Here's the latest on a further four who could be just the ticket.

Newcastle United v Preston North End - Sky Bet Championship
Scoring against the Mags - Jordan Hugill
Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Rebuilding a dynamic fresher squad which can lift Sunderland to a promotion push in the Championship is the focus as the Premier League season limps to an end and Wearside says goodbye to the top-tier for a while.

Sunderland v West Bromwich Albion - Premier League Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

The Stadium of Light will bid farewell to several Black Cats first-teamers this weekend and when football reconvenes at the arena which will mark its 20th birthday later in the year, there will be plenty of new faces.

We introduced seven hot prospects that could be on the radar earlier in the week and of those we mentioned on Monday, reports in Scotland yesterday indicated Sunderland are readying a bid of £2m for Hibs striker Jason Cummings.

The Daily Record claim David Moyes will move for the 21-year-old to kick start his summer business.

Hibernian v Aberdeen - Scottish Cup Semi-Final
Jason Cummings during the Scottish Cup Semi-Final last month
Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

And here's another four potential targets to whet your appetite and make up a full starting eleven of fresh faces.


Jordan Hugill - Striker

The Preston frontman hit twelve goals in the Championship this season to lift his side to an eleventh-placed finish.

Newcastle United v Preston North End - Sky Bet Championship
Jordan Hugill playing for Preston at St James Park last month
Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Standing at 6ft tall, Hugill is good in the air and would come with a strong work ethic and physical strength.

The 24-year-old's rise to the second-tier of English football reads like the checklist of an aficionado of the north east non-league scene with spells at Seaham Redstar, Consett, Whitby Town, Marske United and Gateshead.

Born in Middlesbrough, Hugill was set for a trial at Sunderland as a teenager but had to drop out due to an injury.

Preston rejected a bid of £1.5m from Ipswich for him in January so that has set a starting price for offers this summer.


Ollie Watkins - Attacking Midfielder

At 21-years-old Exeter midfielder Watkins has caught the eye in League Two this season. The Devon-based outfit are readying themselves for a Play-Off semi-final trip to Carlisle this weekend and may also be preparing for bids landing for their rising star.

Exeter City v Cardiff City - Pre-Season Friendly
Ollie Watkins in the red-and-white of Exeter City
Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images

Watkins is an an attacking-orientated versatile midfielder who can operate centrally or play in a wider position.

The Torbay-born youngster has scored 13 goals and racked up 10 assists in English football's fourth-tier this season and looks set to make a step up with Championship sides Leeds and Bristol City credited in recent days with an interest in securing his services.

Watkins was named EFL Young Player of The Year for his performances at Exeter during 2016/17.

One for the future perhaps, it would be little surprise to see Sunderland added in to the speculation about his future in the coming weeks.


Tom Lawrence - Attacking midfielder / winger

Lawrence spent this season under the tutelage of Mick McCarthy with a loan spell at Ipswich from Leicester.

Ipswich Town v Lincoln City - The Emirates FA Cup Third Round
Tom Lawrence (R) in action for Ipswich
Photo by Alex Morton/Getty Images

With nine goals to show for his stint at Portman Road, the former Sunderland boss utilised Lawrence in a variety of positions across his front line - as an attacking midfielder, on the wing and up-front as an out-and-out forward.

The 23-year-old Welsh international is currently being linked with Leeds, Derby, Newcastle and Sunderland or with a season back at Leicester to establish himself at the King Power Stadium.

Lawrence joined Leicester for £1m three years ago and new Sunderland recruitment consultant Rob MacKenzie - who was a technical scout at the Foxes back then - will know him well.


Adam Smith - Goalkeeper

Born in Sunderland, Smith has been with Northampton Town since being sacked from Leicester City for his part in that infamous Thai video a few years ago.

Northampton Town v Plymouth Argyle - Sky Bet League Two
Adam Smith in action for Northampton
Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images

Rehabilitating his career in League One, Smith has been recently linked with moves to Nottingham Forest, Sheffield United and Derby County.

At 24-years-old the goalkeeper is set to leave Northampton this summer and with Sunderland destined to lose Vito Mannone and Jordan Pickford, he could do a job back at his home town club.

Smith has been watched by a host of Premier League and Championship sides this season and could be a good addition at the Stadium of Light.