The 2018/19 campaign ended in disappointing fashion for Sunderland as they crashed to a stoppage-time defeat to Charlton in the League One Play-Off Final.
Patrick Bauer’s 94th-minute goal was enough to send the Addicks into the Championship and ensure another season in the third tier for Jack Ross’ men.
Sunderland will be heavily fancied to win promotion once again next term and Ross knows he must aim for the title.
In order to achieve promotion next time around, he will seek some reinforcements.
One man who is being courted by Ross is Lawrence Shankland, according to Football Scotland.
The 23-year-old talisman smashed 34 goals and registered eight assists during 2018/19 and has recently attracted interest from Rangers and Celtic.
Shankland was released by Ayr at the end of the season and can now sign for his next club on a free transfer.
Given his tender years, there is lots of potential in the Scottish striker. Sunderland struggled for goals last season following the departure of Josh Maja.
Will Grigg managed just four and Charlie Wyke five during the second half of the season.
Shankland is set for a bright future and League One could be the ideal league for him to cut his teeth in English football.
Someone with his record would be fancied for 20 goals at the very least and on a free transfer, he would be a risk worth taking.
Sunderland are in desperate need of a lift following the disappointment of the play-offs and Shankland blasting the team to glory would help no end.