Sunderland are emerging as one of the frontrunners to land Ross McCormack on a loan deal from Aston Villa. The Sunderland Echo report that the Black Cats are stepping up their efforts to sign the Scottish international as Simon Grayson has identified him as a key target. There is other interest in the striker and the North East side will face a battle to land him.
Sunderland want to sign Ross McCormack to go with Lewis Grabban – but face major competition with Derby, Reading and Hull all keen.
— Graeme Bailey (@GraemeBailey) July 26, 2017
Aston Villa only signed the forward last summer, but it hasn’t worked out for him at Villa Park and a disagreement with Steve Bruce at the beginning of the year means that he no longer has a future at the club. The club would prefer to sell McCormack, as they invested big money in him and he is currently a drain on their finances if he isn’t going to play. However, they will consider a loan deal if a large portion of his wages are paid.
Would he be a good signing for Sunderland?
Before last season, McCormack was regarded as one of the best strikers in the Championship after excellent spells with both Leeds United and Fulham. For the three seasons prior to his move to Aston Villa, the 30-year-old managed to score 66 goals at a rate of one every 182 minutes.
He was a one-in-two striker and it was easy to see why clubs at the top of the division were looking to sign him. Villa instantly identified him as the man to lead them back to the Premier League at the first attempt, but it didn’t go to plan.
His attitude is questionable and he doesn’t work hard for the team out of possession, which means that his team have to carry him. Fulham may have lost him last season, but they were a stronger unit as a result and it became clear why Slavisa Jokanovic wasn’t concerned about losing the striker.
McCormack has long been seen as the best striker outside of the top flight, but he has never won promotion to the Premier League and that clearly raises doubts regarding his ability. If Sunderland sign him, he will score goals, but it may come at a cost for the Black Cats.
How likely is a transfer?
It looks unlikely that he will have a future at Aston Villa and that certainly opens up the possibility of a switch to Sunderland. The Black Cats have limited funds this summer, which means that they could be beaten to the deal by one of their rivals.
Despite his poor campaign during 2016/17, McCormack remains an attractive player in the Championship as he does guarantee goals. He will be on the move to one of the clubs in the division, but it is important that he isn’t relied upon, because he can become a burden on the team at times.
Sunderland have completed some good business to date and they appear to be at the front of the queue for the 30-year-old. There is a good chance that he does move to Wearside this summer.