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OPINION: Asoro replacement found as Sunderland sign ex-Liverpool striker, but is he any good?

Sunderland completed the season-long loan signing of Jerome Sinclair from Watford late last night, and some supporters aren’t sure what he’s like. With that in mind, we collared a knowledgeable Hornets fan to give us the lowdown!

Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Yesterday we brought to you the news that Jerome Sinclair was on Wearside putting the finishing touches to a season-long loan move from Watford, a deal which the club managed to sign off late last night after the player completed his medical at the Academy of Light during the afternoon.

Sinclair - who came through as a youngster at West Bromwich Albion before eventually moving on to Liverpool, where he made his first-team debut as a sixteen year old - spent a period on loan last season with Birmingham City and has found first team opportunities hard to come by since his big-money move to Watford two years ago.

But we can’t claim to be experts on Sinclair, and it’d be unfair to judge him based on his Wikipedia page, so we decided to collar someone who knows what they’re talking about.

We sat down with Andy Lewers - a massive Watford fan and the founder of top blog ‘The Hornet’s Nest’ - to get his thoughts on why it hasn’t quite worked out for Sinclair at Vicarage Road and to find out if he thinks he can be a success at Sunderland.

RR: So, Jerome Sinclair - is he any good?

THN: It’s almost quite difficult to tell as he has only played a handful of games for the ‘Orns, scoring just once in an FA Cup game against Burton Albion last season.

For most of his time at Vicarage Road he’s been used as cover during an injury crisis, and he made a few cameo appearances last season, but other than his one goal there’s not much else to say!

RR: Sunderland sold Joel Asoro recently to Swansea and, as such, our forward line lacks explosive pace. Do you think we’ll get that from Sinclair? What sort of striker is he?

THN: I think you will.

On the odd occasions we’ve seen him he’s demonstrated his pace, but his finishing at times has been questionable. He arguably needs a good run of games in a side to get his confidence up and then it wouldn’t surprise me if he came into a bit of form.

Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

RR: Why do you think it hasn’t really worked out for Sinclair since he joined your club?

THN: For the last two seasons he’s largely been used as cover as other strikers have been favoured ahead of him - the likes of Deeney, Ighalo, Okaka and Gray for example.

In addition, for the last year both Silva and Gracia have favoured playing one up top, which Sinclair struggles with as he’s not as good as holding the ball up compared to someone like Deeney.

Even if you look to the wings there have been better options ahead of him - Richarlison, Carrillo, Deulofeu, Janmaat, Femenia - so there’s been a lot of competition.

RR: What would you say his main strengths as a player are?

THN: I would say his pace is his main strength, but again we’ve not really been able to see much of him to have much of an opinion!

Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

RR: And his weaknesses - what about him should we be wary of?

THN: His finishing when given the chance has been poor. Aside from his one goal, his one other memorable moment in a Watford shirt was away at Aston Villa in pre-season where he shanked a one-on-one which nearly went out for a throw in!

RR: Do you think that, at his age, Sinclair will be able to cope with the demands of playing League One football?

THN: Yes, he’s more than capable. Without being rude he probably needs a step down to find his feet again, as he’s unlikely to break into a Premier League side anytime soon.

RR: Just to round off - what would you say to any Sunderland supporters that might be sceptical about the decision to sign Sinclair?

THN: Give him a chance - let him find his feet, and once he gets some games under his belt he could be a worthwhile acquisition.

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