This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Despite supporters of Championship clubs wanting big-money moves to be made, there are still a number of players who are still free agents that can be captured in the coming weeks.
And one individual who is no stranger to the second tier of English football and is available is Lewis Grabban, who after four years is no longer a Nottingham Forest player, having failed to agree a new deal with the Reds following their promotion to the Premier League.
Despite now being a 34-year-old and picking up a few more niggling injuries last season than normal, Grabban will still feel as though he has something to offer week in, week out for a Championship side, having scored 54 goals in the last four seasons.
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Which outfits should be looking into a move for the veteran though? Let’s take a look at what the FLW team have to say…
There is one top club that stands out for me in needing a player like Grabban right now and that is Middlesbrough.
Chris Wilder went into the curtain-raiser against West Brom with Duncan Watmore and Chuba Akpom up-front – that speaks volumes about where his options are at right now.
Watmore is a grafter but is unlikely to get you 10 goals a season, whilst Akpom isn’t exactly wanted by Wilder at Boro and an exit before the transfer window closes is likely, so that is how desperate he was against the Baggies.
Marcus Forss has already arrived on Teesside from Brentford, but Wilder needs two, or maybe even three more new centre-forwards to be competitive at the top end of the table.
Despite only featuring in 60 matches out of a possible 95 in the Championship over the last two years, Grabban can still be an asset to a team like Boro if his minutes are managed correctly.
Let’s not forget as well, Chris Wilder has been here before when it comes to strikers in their 30’s – David McGoldrick and Billy Sharp lit up the Championship in 2018-19 under Wilder’s management for Sheffield United, and Grabban could do the same for Boro.
It could be argued a move to bring Grabban back to the Stadium of Light could be a smart move for Sunderland to make.
The Black Cats do still look short on natural centre forward options, and given the success he enjoyed during his last spell in the north east, his could be a popular return for the club.
Indeed, that would no doubt help him to settle in quickly, and there would be a confidence that he could still make an impact for Alex Neil’s side, having been a reliable source of goals throughout his time at this level.
Grabban’s experience and insight into the Championship could also be helpful for Sunderland’s other striking options this season, as Ross Stewart and Ellis Simms get their first taste of playing in this division.
A free transfer could be helpful for the Black Cats financially as well, so this is one that would potentially be productive for all concerned.
There are a number of clubs who could use Grabban and it comes as a surprise that he is still without a club as the season gets underway.
If he could accept playing a secondary role as a squad player then he could even do well at a club like Blackburn Rovers, who could use the cover up front for Ben Brereton Diaz, or any potential big name replacement for the Chile international.
However, if he was willing to take on that kind of role then he may still be at Forest for their Premier League campaign.
In that case, a club like Cardiff City could use a proven goal scorer as they have yet to really replace Kieffer Moore.
Grabban bagged 12 last season in Steve Cooper’s side, and that kind of return for the Bluebirds would really help the team rise up the table.
Steve Morison has also put together quite a young squad, so his experience guiding this team by leading the line could prove to be quite an effective strategy on a short-term basis.