Still optimistic, Sunderland boss Tony Mowbray is determined to see the positive in the news that Ross Stewart is out through injury. Yes, losing a striker who has scored 31 goals since the start of last season – including five in seven league games – is, to quote Alex Neil’s successor at the Stadium of Light, “a blow”.
But, as Mowbray takes pains to point out; “These injuries are always an opportunity for someone else.”
It remains to be seen whether this “opportunity” will fall to Ellis Simms, a talented youngster or perhaps even an outside hire.
“You’d be silly not to take a look at what’s on offer in terms of free agents,” Mowbray added to the Northern Echo. “I’ve just been to the recruiting department and they’ve been talking to me about the free agents and passing me some names to see if there’s any relevance.”
With Stewart facing two months on the sidelines after tearing a thigh muscle, the door may have opened for one of the many talented centre-forwards available to sign here at the moment. The misery of some, as they say, makes the fortune of others.
Now take us out. Andy Carroll may be a dead Newcastle United fan in the wool, cut and bled in black and white. But the former Magpie is also a confirmed operator at Championship level and, at 33, would surely jump at the chance to extend his career, even if it means joining the great rivals of his former club.
Carroll scored three times in a short spell at West Brom, providing presence and physicality in the final third; two attributes Sunderland may lack in Stewart’s absence.
The former England international was under consideration by Wolves earlier this week, before the Premier League side made a breakthrough in their pursuit of Diego Costa.
Like Carroll, Jorgensen is a towering 6-foot-4 target who, in theory, would thrive as a central point in an attack containing the creative talents of Jack Clarke, Alex Pritchard and co. The Dane has inspired Feyenoord to their only Eredivisie title since the turn of the century in 2017, and should still have plenty to offer at the age of 31.
Miguel Angel Guerrero
Although not the most prolific of centre-forwards, the well-traveled Guerrero can still thrive in the right system. He has 12 La Liga goals on his CV, a Greek title at Olympiakos and, as recently as 2021, helped Rayo Vallecano secure his return to the Spanish top flight.
Hal Robson Kanu
It’s been a year since Robson-Kanu kicked a ball in a competitive setting. But, in an interview with The Athletic, the London-born workaholic insists he hasn’t hung up his boots yet.
“I’m in better shape than most professional players,” Robson-Kanu said.
Sunderland could do worse than put that claim to the test. The Welshman hit double figures in the Championship as recently as 2019/20 after all.
“Hal Robson-Kanu really played,” former Sunderland and West Brom striker Kevin Phillips said a few years ago. “He’s always been an exciting player. I’ve always liked his work ethic and his hold-up game. But this season he added the goals.
“I think he puts himself in better positions. He’s a good handful for any defenseman in the league.
The former Arsenal prospect didn’t make too much of an impression during a short-term spell at Huddersfield Town recently. But he hasn’t turned 30 yet.e anniversary, and should be considered after a move to an unnamed giant in the Swiss Super League fell through.
Sanogo knows English football like the back of his hand after spells at Huddersfield, Arsenal, Charlton Athletic and Crystal Palace.
In other news, Moyes makes four changes, Paqueta starts: West Ham’s planned XI vs FCSB
5 independent Sunderland strikers can sign now after Ross Stewart hit