Sunderland failed to win promotion back to the Championship at the first time of asking after their play-off final defeat against Charlton Athletic.
Jack Ross’ men are set for another season in League One and need to learn from their mistakes in order to mount another automatic promotion bid in 2019/20.
One of the reasons why Sunderland struggled towards the end of last season was the lack of a clinical finisher. In the first half of the season, Sunderland had Josh Maja tucking chances away.
But after scoring 15 goals, the young striker departed for Bordeaux. And Will Grigg has failed to live up to expectations so far, while Charlie Wyke is not that type of striker.
Ross could look to sign a fox-in-the-box style forward this summer. And if he is in the market for this type of striker, Marc McNulty should be his man.
The Scotland international is wanted by Hibernian and Coventry City (according to The Scottish Sun) with his future at Reading looking bleak.
But Sunderland should have the financial clout and the big-club pull to compete in this deal. And McNulty could score the goals to fire Sunderland back to promotion.
The 26-year-old demonstrated his finishing ability in the Scottish Premiership last season, scoring eight and assisting five in 17 Hibs games.
In the 2017/18 season, McNulty bagged 28 goals to fire Coventry to promotion via the League Two play-offs. It is no surprise the Sky Blues want him back.
With a strikeforce of McNulty, Grigg and Wyke, Sunderland would have a diverse range of attackers and enough goals to push for the League One title.