Former Sunderland striker Victor Anichebe has been linked with return to football with Championship strugglers Bolton Wanderers, according to reports in the Birmingham Mail.
The 29-year-old is out of contract after a short stint with Beijing Enterprises of the Chinese Super League, but is now available on a free transfer having had his contract torn up last month.
Former Sunderland target Gary Madine earned himself a move to promotion hopefuls Cardiff City on Deadline Day from the Trotters, leaving behind a bustling striker-shaped hole in Phil Parkinson’s already depleted squad, and with the transfer window now closed it has apparently alerted Bolton to the availability of the Nigeria international.
The question amongst Sunderland supporters online since the news surfaced yesterday has been over whether or not we should be back in for the centre forward who departed Wearside at the end of last season.
Chris Coleman’s side are still lacking in depth and firepower despite securing just one centre forward in the January transfer window and, putting aside Anichebe’s previous on Wearside and his questionable injury record for one moment, on a free transfer there are certainly worse options out there available on a short-term basis.
Should Sunderland attempt to re-sign Victor Anichebe?
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Of course, it’s still early days for Boro loanee Ashley Fletcher, but the 22-year-old has hit the back of the net just six times in 55 senior football appearances, with just one solitary Championship goal to his name.
And with young forwards Josh Maja and Joel Asoro possessing just two league goals between them, Anichebe could well do a job at this level and be the man to offer some much needed experience and firepower to Sunderland’s depleted forward line - providing he stays fit.
The Lagos-born striker signed for Sunderland on a one-year deal in order to link up with David Moyes last season - the pair had previously worked together at Everton.
His first goal for Sunderland came in a 2–1 win against Bournemouth, Sunderland’s first win of the 2016-2017 campaign, but despite early promise he wasn’t able to stay fit and eventually his career on Wearside tailed off before leaving last summer upon the expiration of his contract.
Anichibe took to Twitter after that Bournemouth game in order to celebrate his contribution to victory and to mock himself following a high-profile social media gaffe.
His good start to life as a Sunderland player continued in the November, with two goals in a 3–0 home win against Hull City, propelling the forward towards a nomination for the PFA Fans Player of the Month award.
Injuries restricted “Big Vic” to just eleven league appearances in his one season at Sunderland, and the forward left following the club’s relegation from the Premier League.