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Sunderland v Middlesbrough - Sky Bet Championship

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The big man is back - Ross Stewart hasn’t missed a beat

Ross Stewart has now scored nine goals in his last 10 appearances, and his form is being matched by some superb individual displays. Just how good is he?

Photo by Mark Fletcher/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Upon promotion to the Championship, I dare say there were some concerns over whether or not our main man could do the job at a higher level. He was, of course, untested in the second tier but his talent and ability had been there for all to see.

Knowing that a lot of our goals would need to come through him, Ross Stewart could be forgiven for feeling the weight of Sunderland AFC on his shoulders.

If he was feeling the pressure, he became bloody good at hiding it.

Eight goals or assists in the opening seven games showed that he had taken to the Championship like a duck to water. The frustrating injury has restricted his ability and it is amazing to think what kind of goal record he may have if not for this.

Sunderland v Middlesbrough - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Despite missing 15 games this season, Stewart’s goal in the 2-0 win against Middlesbrough was his 10th in just Championship games. If you include his header in the FA Cup at Shrewsbury, the Loch Ness Drogba has scored six goals in seven matches since returning from injury.

The kind of goals-to-games ratio he’s enjoyed in the past one-and-a-half seasons on Wearside is nothing short of remarkable.

What we have in our side when Stewart plays is a striker who has pretty much everything you’d want in a player.

His touch on the ball, burst of pace and finishing made him a nightmare for League One defences, and now Championship backlines are getting a very similar treatment.

We’ve all known for a long time the quality which Roscoe possesses, which is why we’ve anxiously waited for any news on a potential departure.

The word is he’s happy at Sunderland and, judging by his performances and the regular smiling face, you can deem this to be true.

Sunderland v Middlesbrough - Sky Bet Championship Photo by MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

However long he remains a Sunderland player, whether that be days, weeks, months, or years, we are all safe in the knowledge that those of us of a certain age have likely never seen a better striker don a Sunderland shirt.

Bigger names have come before him, who maybe have a more deadly finish or a sharper burst of pace. But none for a very long time have had a little bit of everything in what Stewart brings to this team.

What is rewarding to see is a man who is enjoying his football whilst also continuing to score plenty of goals. We’ve built a team of exciting talent around him and his goal record since returning from injury reflects this.

An extra striker in the remaining days of the window is still a necessity, but whoever this is they will be lining up alongside one of the best in the division.


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