Sunderland winger Jack Clarke has been at the centre of plenty of transfer speculation in the lead up to the January window.
It was reported last month by TEAMtalk that a host of Premier League clubs were interested in signing the former Tottenham star. Crystal Palace, Brighton and Burnley were named as teams that could make a move for Sunderland star Clarke in January.
That is not a surprise, as Clarke has been a superb signing for the Black Cats. In his time at the club, he has scored 21 goals in 87 appearances for the Wearside outfit.
He is also their top scorer in the Championship this season with nine goals, that is six goals ahead of the club’s second top scorer.
It is the goal scoring aspect in particular which suggests that if Clarke leaves in January, it could be fatal to Sunderland’s Championship promotion prospects. If the Black Cats had a number of players scoring goals it would be a different story.
Over-reliant on Clarke?
However, as it stands, Sunderland are almost over reliant on Clarke’s ability to find the back of the net. Manager Tony Mowbray will be hoping that other attackers in the squad can step up in the next few weeks, as that would ease some of the burden on Clarke.
The only positive if Clarke leaves is that Sunderland will have a lot of money to spend on a replacement. It could really have an impact on the promotion bid though, regardless of how tempting it may be to cash in on the winger.
Sunderland are currently 6th in the Championship table, leaving them firmly in the promotion fight. The concern has to be that Clarke’s exit would see them slip down the table, especially if those around him don’t start to chip in with goals themselves.
Sunderland look to be facing a very important decision about the winger’s future in January.