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Five free agents Sunderland might consider to bolster their attack

With a squad full of holes, will Sunderland dip into the Bosman market to bolster their attacking options? Here’s five options that make at least a little bit of sense.

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The deadline for the summer transfer window might have came and went, but the Bosman market ensures there’s always time for a club to add out-of-contract players to it’s ranks, if it’s in such dire need.

And there isn’t a word more apt than dire as far as Sunderland’s lack of attacking options are concerned. With loanee Lewis Grabban and former-Bury man James Vaughan the only senior players formally recognized as strikers, it’s looking like a lack of squad depth up front could prove to be a real fundamental flaw in our team.

To remedy that situation, Simon Grayson might look to those frontmen without a club in order to provide us with some covering fire.

As a fair warning, and as you might expect, most of these aren’t the most exciting prospects - but they won’t cost us a penny. So naturally they’ll fit right in with the general theme of our transfer policy!

Anyway, let’s see what we’ve got...


Northampton Town v West Bromwich Albion: EFL Cup Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images

Rickie Lambert

The former Liverpool man might be getting on, but he’s proven himself to be capable in both the first and second divisions of English football. During his first season in the Championship, Rickie racked up an astounding thirty-one goals in forty-eight appearances for Southampton - a club he scored more than a hundred goals for in total!

Lambert would certainly give us the big, imposing ‘Target Man’ dynamic we currently lack. While he may have lost some of his mobility, he could still prove a threat from set-pieces; whether that be from one of his free-kicks or by latching onto a corner.

Crystal Palace v Swansea City - Premier League Photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images

Marouane Chamakh

Until 2016, Moroccan international Chamakh had spent his entire senior career in the Premier League, with a brief, two month stint at Cardiff City being the spell which brought his top-flight streak to an end.

Cardiff opted to sign Chamakh on a short-term contract but he subsequently left the Bluebirds after managing only two appearances for the Welsh side, ultimately failing to secure regular first team football.

Not the most convincing accolade to have on your CV, but perhaps given a bit more time - and enough ambition from the man himself - Grayson could get a tune out of him.

Juventus FC v ACF Fiorentina - Serie A Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

Giuseppe Rossi

The most attractive name on the list as well as the most unrealistic - but if we can swap Jozy Altidore for Jermain Defoe and sign Aiden McGeady for £250k in the same market that saw Sone Aluko move for £7.5m, then I see no reason why we should immediately rule Rossi out.

The Italian has the most impressive CV of any of the bosman candidates I’ve compiled here. He’s only ever played in the top divisions of England, Spain and Italy with the likes of Man Utd, Villareal and Fiorentina respectively - racking up a plethora of goals for the latter two.

At the age of 30, Rossi’s better years might be behind him but he’s not quite over the hill yet. For that reason, joining a Championship club is probably a dubious prospect for him - but like I just said, we’ve made bizarre signings on the cheap before.

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Sylvan Ebanks-Blake

Having scored double figures in five Championship seasons for Wolves and Plymouth Argyle, it’s clear that Ebanks-Blake is capable at this level and, at the age of 31, he’s another one that’s getting on a bit but far from ancient.

Unfortunately those aforementioned seasons are a while back now, and Sylvan has played in League One since 2014. But hey! We signed James Vaughan from Bury and he’s... he’s well... yeah.

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Carlton Cole

A signing we could only plausibly make if Grayson felt we were really in the need for that big, imposing Target Man dynamic.

But even with that being said, I can’t imagine why we would choose Cole over Lambert if we were bosman buying for this model of player, but I suppose it’s an option, if not a particularly good one. The fact that Cole has only made thirteen league appearances since 2015 and failed to score in any of them can firmly attest to that.


So yeah, there’s not an awful lot to pick from, but it’s always a market worth taking a look at - especially considering it’s a viable option all year round. After all, we picked up Victor Anichebe after the deadline’s conclusion last year and he might’ve continued the good form he started on if his legs weren’t made of Styrofoam...

I’m tightening the grip on the straws we’re already clutching here, but I suppose that’s a testament to how we conduct our transfer business these days.