On-loan striker Lewis Grabban has opted to return to parent club Bournemouth early, deciding that his future lies away from Wearside as he seeks to find a new club before the end of the transfer window.
In a statement on SAFC.com, Chris Coleman re-iterated his stance on his short term aims for the club and this squad;
Throughout my time at the football club I have continually reiterated that I only wish to work with players who want to be here and work hard for Sunderland.
Lewis informed us of his desire to leave and we wish him well.
It had been rumoured that Eddie Howe would opt to exercise the clause in Grabban’s deal in order for the Cherries to sell the 29-year old before the end of the month, and it would appear that is now indeed the case.
Understand Bournemouth have recalled Lewis Grabban from his loan after the player told Sunderland he wanted to leave. The Cherries plan to sell him this window - Wolves are interested.— Keith Downie (@SkySports_Keith) January 5, 2018
Table-toppers Wolves have long been cited with an interest in Grabban, who would provide competition at the Midlands club behind exciting forward Leo Bonatini.
Sunderland were always unlikely to rival any other club with regards to a permanent move for the centre forward, who scored twelve goals during his brief stint on Wearside.
As Chris Coleman re-affirmed earlier this week, he is unlikely to receive any money from owner Ellis Short in order to beef up his wafer-thin squad, and as such will have to make use of the loan market as he bids to stave off Sunderland’s relegation to the third tier for the the first time in over thirty years.
In order to seal Grabban’s loan move from the South coast in August, Sunderland agreed to waive a fee which would have secured his services until at least the summer, meaning that the option for the Premier League club to recall him back during this window was always likely to be on the cards.
Whilst initially Sunderland supporters will be angry and disappointed, it’s important to remember the words of Chris Coleman when he first arrived here, which he today re-iterated in the wake of the forward’s departure - he only wants to work with players who are up for the fight.
Whatever your thoughts are on Grabban, the fact he’s decided he doesn’t want to stick around despite this club helping to rebuild his reputation as a goalscorer at this level says just as much about him as it does us.
Quite where we go from here is uncertain at present, but, one thing is for sure - Chris Coleman needs to significantly strengthen his attacking options if he is going to stand any chance of keeping us in the Championship come the end of the season.