Sunderland will be looking to win promotion back into the Championship this term under the management of Phil Parkinson.
The Black Cats have got off to a strong start in this year’s campaign as well, as they currently sit fifth in the League One table, whilst also remaining unbeaten this term in the third-tier of English football.
One player that has played his part in their strong start to the 2020/21 season is Danny Graham, who signed for the club after leaving Blackburn Rovers at the end of last season.
We take a look at how Graham’s second spell with Sunderland has gone so far and what the future could hold for him at the Stadium of Light.
How’s it gone so far?
Graham has made six appearances for Sunderland in all competitions this term, and scored his first and only goal for the club so far against Aston Villa’s Under-23s side in the EFL Trophy.
But he has struggled for starts with Phil Parkinson’s side this season, having made just two starts for the Black Cats, which might come as a slight frustration for the former Blackburn forward.
Charlie Wyke led the line against Swindon Town, and Graham was an unused substitute for Sunderland, and he’ll be somewhat disappointing at his game time with his new club at this moment in time.
However, we are only five league matches into the League One season for Sunderland, and there is plenty of time for Graham to force his way into the starting XI on a regular basis.
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What issues does he face?
The main issue that Graham faces is a competition for places, and that’ll remain the case for the foreseeable future.
The experienced forward hasn’t been a regular starter for Sunderland since signing for the club, with the 35-year-old battling it out with Charlie Wyke and Will Grigg for a starting spot in Phil Parkinson’s squad.
Wyke in particular has caught the eye with some impressive performances of late, and scored Sunderland’s opener in their recent win over Swindon Town at the County Ground.
Competition for places is never a bad dilemma to have as a manager, but as a player, you’re going to want to play as much as possible, regardless of your age.
Graham is one of the more experienced members of the Sunderland squad, and won’t have wanted to sign for the club to sit on the substitutes bench.
Graham will know that he faces a real battle to get into the Sunderland starting XI on a regular basis this season under the management of Phil Parkinson.
But given the fact that Charlie Wyke is scoring goals already this season in their league campaign, it’s vital that Graham can find some consistency in his performances in front of goal at the earliest of opportunities.
If he doesn’t do that, then he could well find his opportunities limited this season, which doesn’t make for the best of reading for his future at the Stadium of Light.
Graham made 39 appearances in total for Blackburn Rovers last season, and he’ll be eager to find himself regular game time in the near future, ahead of a busy schedule before the next international break.