Sunderland come face-to-face with summer target Freddie Ladapo in League One tonight. The Black Cats host Rotherham United – who were relegated last season – and Ladapo is set to start up front for the visitors.
Ladapo was a summer target for Sunderland but this move never materialised. Jack Ross turned his attention to the then-Plymouth Argyle striker after Portsmouth’s £500k move fell through, as per The Northern Echo.
But Ladapo will be eager to impress tonight. He can show Ross that he was the one that got away for Sunderland.
Ladapo hits form
Ahead of tonight’s clash, Ladapo has hit some form. The 26-year-old scored twice against struggling Bolton Wanderers to find some confidence ahead of the trip to The Stadium of Light.
Ladapo has been Rotherham’s main man in the attack this season. He now has four goals in nine games and he will be hoping to add to that tally tonight. It would prove Sunderland were wrong not to pursue this transfer.
Big task for Sunderland’s defence
Given his height and power, Ladapo is a tricky striker to keep quiet. He is always in the game – both aerially and with the ball on the floor. Sunderland’s defence faces a battle keeping him quiet.
Alim Ozturk and Jordan Willis are likely to continue at the back for Sunderland tonight. They will be both be fully aware of Ladapo’s ability at this level and their task will be to stop him having an influence on the game.
McNulty can prove otherwise
Ladapo could score in tonight’s game to make Ross regret his summer decision. But alternatively, Marc McNulty has the opportunity to show Ross why he made the right call with his striker transfer.
McNulty is on loan from Reading and he netted his first league goal of the season at the weekend. The 27-year-old Scotsman has looked lively so far but he needs to add goals to his game to show why he is a better choice than Ladapo.