Sunderland see themselves in a tight battle for the top-six, going into what needs to be a huge January window for the Black Cats.
Tony Mowbray’s men have defied the odds this season and are competing in every game they play. Many expected Sunderland to be in a battle for survival and while things can change quickly, that doesn’t appear to be the case now.
But the recent news that Ellis Simms made a premature return to Everton has left Sunderland particularly short in the striking department.
That, and the speculation surrounding Ross Stewart means a striker is a priority for Sunderland this window and they’ve already been linked with the likes of Jonson Clarke-Harris.
Here we look at three strikers the Sunderland hierarchy should target this month…
The young Aston Villa forward was linked with several Championship clubs back in the summer, with Sunderland being one of them – the Black Cats have been more recently linked as well.
A move didn’t materialise though and he has failed to make a consistent mark on Villa’s first-team. The 21-year-old scored seven and assisted one in ten games for Preston North End in the second tier last season, and he would be a good option for Mowbray to have on loan.
If Archer was to become available, Sunderland would likely have strong competition, but he’d be a very shrewd signing for Mowbray’s Sunderland.
The Blackpool talisman is reportedly a target for Sunderland should Stewart depart this month. The 26-year-old has nine goals and two assists so far in 26 Championship appearances for a struggling Blackpool side.
Yates is a pretty consistent goalscorer and given Blackpool’s current situation, it may not take much for Sunderland to tempt him into a move in this month’s transfer window.
He doesn’t hold as much potential as Stewart and he likely won’t outscore him, but he’d be a safe target should Stewart depart, or a safe bet to bring in alongside Stewart too.
The 25-year-old has been a huge hit for Bristol Rovers so far this season. Collins has featured in 25 League One games, scoring 13 goals and assisting a further 11.
His versatility allows him to lead the line or play out wide which would allow Mowbray more options if he was tasked with fitting the likes of Collins and Stewart in the same XI together.
Collins does have a long time left on his current deal and with the striker firing for fun at the moment, Bristol Rovers won’t let him go easily.
But a move to Sunderland would surely be an attractive prospect for anyone playing in League One.