Earlier this summer reports suggested Sunderland could be making a move to bring a hometown hero back to the club. As confirmed by Sunderland chairman Stewart Donald himself, Grant Leadbitter was on the shortlist for Sunderland this summer.
With Paddy McNair leaving, Lee Cattermole and Didier Ndong out-of-favour and Ovie Ejaria’s loan move ending Sunderland looked bare in central midfield.
“Yes, Grant is a player on our radar and we would want it to be a permanent deal rather than a loan.”
They have done well to rectify the situation. Luke O’Nien and Dylan McGeouch both arrived and Max Power could still become a Sunderland player. But on the opening day of the season, Sunderland still resorted to 16-year-old Bali Mumba starting. As impressive as he is, some experience and fight is needed in that Sunderland midfield.
Leadbitter ticks all the boxes and, considering he is a local boy who came through the ranks at the club, would certainly please fans.
Now, he might even be available.
Middlesbrough snapped up Mo Besic for a reported £6 million on transfer deadline day.
The move leaves Leadbitter way down the pecking order at The Riverside. With Adam Clayton, Jonny Howson, Paddy McNair, Lewis Wing and now Besic all ahead of him, the 32-year-old is surely open to a loan switch.
Sunderland would need to get Cattermole, Ndong and Papy Djilobodji out of the door first. However, a move for Leadbitter would bring the experience Sunderland might need to push for promotion from League One this season.
They may have wanted a permanent deal earlier this summer, but that time has now passed. Putting together a decent loan package could give Sunderland a missing piece in their promotion puzzle.
Three perfect Premier League strikers Sunderland could get on loan
Sunderland are said to be in the market for another loan signing.
Sunderland are still hopeful of bringing in another striker before the loan window shuts at the end of the month. The Black Cats are short in the position, despite the summer arrivals of Charlie Wyke and Jerome Sinclair. With both currently injured, Josh Maja has been leading the line on his own.
As reported by the Shields Gazette, Sunderland are currently trawling through the Premier League looking for potential recruits.
Well here are three strikers who would be excellent in League One, currently out-of-favour in the Premier League…
Cauley Woodrow – Fulham
The 23-year-old has near zero chance of playing for Fulham this season, considering the attacking threats ahead of him.
Yet, he is a very talented forward. Nine caps and three goals for the England under-21s highlights his pedigree. Previous loan spells at Burton Albion and Bristol City have been reasonably successful. Sunderland would certainly welcome his arrival.
Nahki Wells – Burnley
A slightly more ambitious move this one would be for the Bermudan striker. The 28-year-old has failed to establish himself at Burnley and transfer activity at Turf Moor sees him out of favour completely this season.
The last time he played in League One with Bradford City, he scored 14 goals in 19 games. A tough one to secure, but would be a phenomenal recruit.
Joe Mason – Wolves
The Irishman is back at Wolves after a loan spell at Colorado Rapids. However, he is available for loan with no chance of first-team football for the 27-year-old.
Would offer Sunderland something different to the strikers they already have and would relish rare regular first-team football.
Could release of Ross McCormack make him an easier Sunderland target?
The Aston Villa star could get released this month, giving Sunderland a chance to act on apparent interest.
It seems Aston Villa could soon finally be rid of Ross McCormack. The Scottish striker has failed to be a hit at Villa Park following his big-money move from Fulham in 2016. After falling out with manager Steve Bruce he has been exiled from the first-team and spent time on loan at Nottingham Forest and Melbourne City.
Now, according to the Sunday Mirror (print edition, 12/08/18, pg 65), Bruce has implored Aston Villa’s hierarchy to release McCormack from his contract.
Which would be great news for Sunderland.
According to a report from the Daily Mail last month, Sunderland were eyeing up a deal for the 31-year-old striker. A loan move was being mooted, as Sunderland looked to add attacking power.
In the end, nothing came of the reports.
Sunderland would have, of course, struggled to pay the wages McCormack is currently on at Aston Villa. The Championship side would also be reticent to pay a large portion of any wage packet, considering the financial outlay that has already gone into the flop signing.
Now, if McCormack becomes free to sign this month, Sunderland would be wise to make a move.
They would have more luck trying to convince McCormack to lower his wage demands than his club. Sunderland would also have the added knowledge that he would be theirs to keep, should he be a success.
Sunderland would have until the end of the month to secure his signature. If McCormack becomes a free agent soon, Sunderland should be one of the first teams on the phone.
Sunderland loan watch: Lamine Kone faces a fight and Sam Brotherton misses 8-1 win
How did the two players away on loan from Sunderland get on this week?
Sunderland currently only have two players out on loan from the club at present. That number is likely to increase before the end of the season. Papy Djilobodji and Didier Ndong are both available as Sunderland aim to get their wages off the books. Bryan Oviedo and Lee Cattermole are also not safe whilst several youngsters might be tempted by playing regular football elsewhere.
But as Sunderland drew 1-1 with Luton Town this weekend, how did the two players currently loaned out by Sunderland get on?
Lamine Kone – Strasbourg
The Sunderland outcast had a dream debut for the club, scoring in a pre-season friendly just a day after signing.
However, he has not yet done enough to earn a starting place with the Ligue 1 side. The 29-year-old watched from the bench as his side pulled off something of a shock, beating Bordeaux 2-0 away from home.
Kone looks like he will have a fight on to usurp Stefan Mitrovic and Pablo Martinez from centre-back in Alsace.
Sam Brotherton – Blyth Spartans
The New Zealand international’s National League North side had a day to remember on Saturday. They absolutely hammered Chester FC 8-1. However, Brotherton was not available.
He came off 45 minutes into his debut against Hereford on the opening day. It forced him out of the Bradford Park Avenue defeat in midweek and he also missed this humbling performance.
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