Sunderland got their automatic promotion hopes back on track last night with a 4-2 win over Gillingham at the Stadium of Light.
It proved to be a routine win for the Black Cats who were pegged back twice by a dogged Gills outfit.
Jack Ross’ side are up to third, four points behind Barnsley in second with a game in hand over the Tykes.
The Sunderland squad boasts a lot of quality this season, but last night Ross got a glimpse at what he could have won in the form of Gills striker Tom Eaves.
Keith Downie of Sky Sports Tweeted back in January that the Black Cats were keen to sign Eaves:
Sunderland are looking into possible deals for free-scoring League One strikers Tom Eaves (Gillingham) & John Marquis (Doncaster). They may turn to either – or both – with their attempts to sign Wigan striker Will Grigg proving difficult #SAFC
— Keith Downie (@SkySports_Keith) January 29, 2019
The move never came to fruition as Ross landed Wigan striker Will Grigg instead.
Eaves has been in fine form this season.
The Liverpool-born striker took his tally to 17 for the season last night in all competitions.
A typical poacher’s goal from the talisman saw the Gills equalise early on last night, offering Ross a reminder of what he missed out on.
Grigg did net his first Sunderland goal from the penalty spot during the win, but there is enough to suggest that Eaves might have been a better bet.
The man who joined from Wigan has not played much football this season and there could be a settling in period for the hotshot.
Eaves looks destined for bigger things.
It remains to be seen whether Sunderland will return to finally land the striker in the summer.
He didn’t do his chances any harm last night, by showing Ross exactly what he is capable of.