With two weeks until the season starts, Sunderland have been left in a familiar position with a frustrating transfer window leaving the Black Cats short on firepower. Jack Ross and Stewart Donald have added new players across the field but attempts to bring in a striker have so far proved unsuccessful.
Reported interest in Lyle Taylor and Mohamed Eisa has come to nothing and another target, Charlie Wyke, is currently injured which hinders the chances of a deal being completed before the season starts.
With Josh Maja Sunderland’s only real option as it stands, a striker should be a key priority heading in to the opening game. Here, we identify five realistic options who could come in and add to Sunderland’s squad as they look to bounce back to the Championship at the first attempt;
Louis Moult – Moult has struggled since his move to Preston in January and has been linked with a quick return to Scotland. The 26-year old scored 16 goals last season, though 14 of those came while leading the line for Motherwell.
Moult clearly knows where the goal is and may prefer to stay in England in a move that would suit all three parties.
David McGoldrick – While not the most prolific striker around, McGoldrick has spent the majority of his career at a higher level and his experience could be vital in what is a young Sunderland side.
McGoldrick was released by Ipswich in the summer having scored eight goals in 24 games before missing the end of the season with injury. While McGoldrick has been on trial at Sheffield United this summer, he may favour a bigger role at Sunderland if offered.
Jayden Stockley – Stockley joined Exeter City from Aberdeen last summer and enjoyed a fruitful season with the Grecians, scoring 23 goals in all competitions. Target men are not always able to back up their ability with a goalscoring record, but Stockley is one who can.
Exeter would want a fee for Stockley, but Sunderland have shown they are willing to spend this summer, even if bids haven’t come off just yet.
Christian Doidge – Like Stockley, Doidge is a target man who enjoyed a successful season in League Two in 2018/19, scoring 25 goals in all competitions. Doidge has two years left on his contract at Forest Green so won’t come cheap but should still be affordable for Sunderland.
One negative about Doidge is that he has never played in League One before, but with a total of 52 goals in his last two seasons he’s got to be worth a shot if the price is right.
Jordy Hiwula – Hiwula is a different type of striker to the rest on the list, he’s not a target man and usually plays better in a front two. Hiwula doesn’t fit the system that Jack Ross has played in preseason, but his pace and eye for goal would make him a useful addition for Sunderland.
What he can also offer, is a Plan B, and competition for places in an area Sunderland need to strengthen. Having spent spells in the last three seasons on loan in League One, Huddersfield would probably be open to selling Hiwula and it’s unlikely he would command a high fee.