May 27, 2024

Sunderland may rue their decision not to secure the services of a standout striker who is currently excelling for a rival team in the league. The departure of Ross Stewart due to injury over a year ago left a significant gap in their squad, yet they have failed to acquire a proven Championship goal scorer since then.

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Despite receiving a substantial £10 million fee for Stewart’s transfer, Sunderland opted to focus on investing in youth rather than acquiring an established striker. This strategy saw the arrival of Nazariy Rusyn, Mason Burstow, Luis Hemir Semedo, and Eliezer Mayenda, none of whom had prior experience in English football.

Despite their efforts to bolster their squad with young talent, Sunderland’s failure to secure a proven striker has become evident over two transfer windows. Despite interest in several forwards like Kieffer Moore and Tom Cannon, they have been unsuccessful in their pursuits.

One player of particular interest was Ellis Simms, who is currently making waves with Coventry City. Simms impressed during his loan spell at Sunderland in the first half of the 2022-23 season, contributing nine goals in 17 Championship games before being recalled by Everton. Despite Sunderland’s desire to sign him permanently, they were unable to meet Everton’s £8 million asking price.

However, Simms’ recent performances for Coventry, including a brace against Wolves in the FA Cup, highlight what Sunderland may have missed out on. While his initial goal-scoring record with Coventry was modest, he has since flourished, contributing significantly to their recent success.

Simms’ form has not only propelled Coventry up the Championship table but has also left Sunderland trailing in their wake. With Coventry now sitting just four points from the playoffs, eight points ahead of Sunderland, the decision not to pursue Simms seems increasingly regrettable.

Although Everton’s asking price may have been steep, Sunderland’s failure to secure a proven striker, especially considering the funds received from Stewart’s sale, reflects poorly on the club’s decision-makers, Kyril-Louis Dreyfus and Kristjaan Speakman.

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