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…
Sunderland are said to be interested in signing Burton Albion striker Liam Joyce, as per journalist Alan Nixon.
The Black Cats sit only one point off the play-off places in League One, and Phil Parkinson will be keen to bolster his squad with fresh faces this month in their bid for promotion.
Their out-and-out strikers have struggled for goals this term, with Marc McNulty and Charlie Wyke finding the net only seven times between them, and a new forward is now seemingly on their radar.
Here, then, we discuss whether he would be a good signing for Sunderland…
“On paper, Sunderland have an excellent spread of strikers and, in honesty, I am shocked that they’ve struggled so much at the Stadium of Light.
“They do need to reshuffle their options in the January transfer window and Boyce could be a good fit.
“The 28-year-old knows the division and has struck seven goals so far this term in a side that probably doesn’t have the creative power Sunderland do.
“Saying that, Sunderland’s current flops ‘know the division’, so it is hard to sell that point.
“However, he’d be Parkinson’s man, and if they’re going to trust the manager, they need to get him the players he wants.”
“Phil Parkinson is looking to make his mark on the Sunderland squad and a move for Liam Boyce would certainly tick that box.
“The striker has done very well to score 13 goals in a fairly average Burton Albion side so far this term, and that experience and pedigree in League One is likely to be very appealing to the Black Cats.
“As it stands, Sunderland aren’t exactly short of options in attack which means that a move for Boyce would likely indicate the imminent departure of another striker.
“The most likely contender would be Will Grigg who has struggled massively this term – meaning that a permanent or loan exit could be just the tonic to reignite his confidence.”
“This could be a decent signing for Sunderland as they wouldn’t have to break the bank to secure him and might be more suited to Phil Parkinson’s setup than current options.
“The Northern Ireland international is spending his third season in the EFL with Burton Albion and has scored seven goals and registered two assists this season for the Brewers in 23 league appearances.
“At present, Sunderland’s lack of goals from their strikers is alarming and moving to plug this gap should be their top priority this month, so Boyce could help shoulder that burden.
“Parkinson’s tenure at the Stadium of Light has got off to a horrible start and he needs to make this January a success if he has any hopes of keeping this job in the long run, I’m not convinced Boyce is the man to do that on his own, but strengthening up front is a step in the right direction.”
“Sunderland definitely need to add more firepower in the final third this month, and I think that Boyce could be a superb addition for the Black Cats.
“He only has six months left on his current deal at the Pirelli Stadium, so the Brewers have a difficult decision to make this month – do they cash in now, or potentially let him leave on a free transfer at the end of the season?
“Boyce is a fantastic striker at League One level – he is a really physical forward who wins no end of aerial duels, and he is the typical, old-fashioned number nine that Sunderland are craving.
“He can lead the line really well on his own up top which would suit Parkinson’s system, and it would be a real coup for them to lure a proven forward to the Stadium of Light.”