Sunderland manager Jack Ross simply must make Ayr United striker Lawrence Shankland his number one transfer target in January.
The 23-year-old Glasgow-born frontman is thought to be on The Black Cats’ radar but has several other admirers ready to battle for his signature according to recent press reports by the Daily Record.
Shankland is currently one of the most in-form strikers in European football with the player having bagged 26 goals in all competitions for his club so far this season, including four goals in Ayr United’s 5-0 win at Dundee United last month. The player is out of contract at Somerset Park at the end of the season and The Honest Men may have to cash in on Shankland in January to avoid losing him on a free in the summer.
The striker could be snapped up for an initial transfer fee of less than £500,000, an absolute steal, and Sunderland boss Ross really must think heavily about making a solid investment in the player.
Shankland would be the perfect signing for the Wearsiders. He is young, hungry, full of confidence and has so much potential. Scoring 26 goals in 30 appearances in Ladbrokes League One as Ayr United won the league title last season was a real achievement, however, 16 goals in 15 league games so far this term in a competitive division which includes several former top flight clubs is a whole different story.
Players from Scotland do not always make the cut down south but Shankland is a special player and is worth the gamble. With the forward having also been linked with the likes of Celtic, Rangers and Swansea City, Sunderland would face serious competition for the player’s signature but Shankland would be an excellent addition should Black Cats boss Ross decide to move for him.
I don’t think there will be a better striker available on the market in January for such a relatively small transfer fee. With Sunderland growing week-on-week under Ross’ guidance, Shankland is the kind of player who would thrive on the club’s long-term challenge to return to their former days in the English Premier League.