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Three players Sunderland should target during the January transfer window

To say that Sunderland have had a turbulent six months would be something of an understatement.

After the jubilation of securing survival at the end of the 2015/16 Premier league season Black Cats supporters were fully expecting to see their club spend the summer re-building, re-moulding and re-investing in their first team squad under the guidance of Sam Allardyce. With an experienced manager at the helm and promises of financial backing from the club’s owner the future looked bright for those sporting the red and white jerseys on Wearside.

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The reality, of course, has been something much different. Sam Allardyce departed to take up the role as England manager in what would become a short, well-publicised and ill-fated tenure. His replacement, David Moyes, arrived with little time to prepare the club before the start of the new season and was left with one hand tied behind his back in the transfer market. Aside from the big-money arrival of Didier N’Dong, the former Manchester United manager had to wheel and deal with free transfers, low fee purchases and loan agreements as he attempted to assemble a squad before the end of the transfer window.

Under-prepared for the new campaign, Sunderland failed to win any of their opening ten Premier League fixtures and slumped to the bottom of the table. However, Moyes has instigated a mini-revival in recent months and five victories in their last eight matches has given Black Cat supporters hope that they may be able to scramble away from the drop zone in the New Year.

Sunderland desperately need to bring in reinforcements when the transfer window re-opens in January, however Moyes has been told that he has no money to spend. Once more, the Scotsman will need to wheel and deal if he is to secure the personnel that will give his squad the boost in quality and enthusiasm to clamber their way to safety.

Here are three players that Sunderland should look to purchase in January…

Peter Crouch

Goals have proven to be difficult to come by for Sunderland this season and there has been an over-reliance on Jermain Defoe’s poacher’s instinct for far too long. The former Tottenham and Portsmouth striker has scored exactly half of The Black Cats’ goals this campaign and the diminutive forward is desperately in need of some support in the final third.

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A reunion with Peter Crouch may well fit the bill. The Stoke City forward has been restricted to just two appearances in The Potters’ starting line-up in the Premier League and has seen his game time greatly restricted following the arrival of Wilfried Bony in the summer. Crouch has previously partnered Defoe in attack for Tottenham, Portsmouth and England in the past and has proven to be a regular goal scorer having found the net 186 times in a career spanning 16 years. His obvious aerial prowess would add a different dimension to Sunderland offensive play and would prove to be a good foil for the intelligent runs of Defoe.

Crouch’s contract is set to expire in the summer and Stoke may well be willing to cash in if a suitable offer is put forward. With such a short period of time remaining on his current deal it is unlikely that The Potters would want big-money for their out of favour forward.

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