With Lewis Grabban returning to Bournemouth and James Vaughan signing for Wigan last week, Sunderland find themselves desperately searching for strikers keen on a move to Wearside ahead of the upcoming transfer deadline.
With only youngsters Josh Maja and Joel Asoro as forward options, Chris Coleman admitted to the press this past weekend that a new striker is sorely required:
We’ve got to do it [bring in a striker], we need help in that department. We cannot expect and put this pressure on two young boys. They’ve done well, they’ve made big impacts, won us a game, but being realistic we need some support.
Recent rumours suggested that Burnley’s Jon Walters was close to agreeing a deal to come to the club; yet, little more was said after the initial flurry of links.
Yesterday evening, however, Walters posted the below photo on Twitter, casting doubt on any proposed move. Does the image suggest an injury or the potential need for surgery? Either way, it unfortunately doesn’t appear to be the Irishman undergoing a medical ahead of a move to the north east.
Devastated..but it is what it is! I don’t look too bad in tights!! pic.twitter.com/x7sdXA6fF0— Jonathan walters (@JonWalters19) January 17, 2018
Another forward linked with a move to the SoL is Liverpool’s Ben Woodburn, who of course has a good relationship with Chris Coleman. Coleman, in fact, gave Woodburn his first start for Wales - a game in which he scored and introduced himself as a player worth keeping an eye on.
Subsequently, Woodburn - who seemingly needs a loan away from Liverpool in order to gain valuable first-team football - has been heavily linked with his old mentor with Mackem, Scouse, and Welsh fans all hoping to see the young star blossom with regular minutes.
Liverpool’s sale of Philipe Coutinho has, however, cast doubt on Woodburn’s proposed loan move to Sunderland with the Reds allegedly not comfortable with their limited attacking options in the form of: Mane, Salah, Firmino, Sturridge, Lallana, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Dominic Solanke, and Danny Ings... aye.
David Coverdale of The Sun tweeted last night to say that the potential loan deal is dead in the water. One would think that Coleman will still be keen, though, and will be eager to do everything he can in order to bring his protege to Wearside.
Understand #safc are resigned to missing out on loan signing of Ben Woodburn. As things stand, Liverpool won't let him leave on loan this month.— David Coverdale (@dpcoverdale) January 17, 2018
As acknowledged by anyone and everyone, Sunderland are in a precarious position with injuries, debt, unhappy players and limited funds all hindering the club’s ability to pull clear of the drop zone.
Reinforcements are sorely needed.
Will Coleman be able to find the striker he needs in order to lift the club from the throes of relegation? Time will tell, but we must trust in Coleman’s judgement.