It was been a busy summer of transfer business for Sunderland, with no fewer than eight new signings making the move to the Stadium of Light.
One of those to join the Black Cats, was a familiar face to the club, in the form of striker Danny Graham.
The 35-year-old, who had been a free agent following his departure from Blackburn at the end of last season after four-and-a-half years at Ewood Park, had originally left Sunderland to join the Lancashire in January 2016, after scoring just once in 42 appearances in all competitions for the Black Cats after joining them from Swansea in 2013.
Given his past record for Sunderland, Graham’s move back to the Stadium of Light may well have raised a few eyebrows, and in our latest FLW Rewind, we take a look back to see just how Black Cats fans reacted to the striker’s return to the club, and whether or not is was justified.
Here’s how Graham reunion with Sunderland was greeted.
Fold the club immediately
— michael carroll (@_Shakes_22) September 7, 2020
A mean after 1 “goal” in his last spell with us, yes he does have to prove himself.
— Bradley Hudson (@bradsafc1093) September 7, 2020
🤔4 goals out of 39 games 2019/20 and 16 goals out of 46 games 2018/19 not exactly a goal machine but hopefully I’m proven wrong.
— Paul (@HaWayTheLads21) September 7, 2020
Welcome back, let’s hope you can get us some goals this season
— keith coundon (@Keiith_C_1971) September 7, 2020
Welcome back Danny.. I think you have unfinished business here.. Looking forward to seeing you in the red and white.. I wish you a really successful 2nd spell. Good luck mate 🔴⚪🔴👍😉
— Colin Roberts (@mackem49000) September 7, 2020
Smashing. Another non-goalscoring striker to go with Grigg.
— Gary Wilde (@garyjohnwilde) September 7, 2020
The levels of ambition in the club are depressing now.
— Paul Robinson (@pauljohnrob) September 7, 2020
Although the season has started in fairly encouraging style for Sunderland, it is probably fair to say that on an individual, things have been slightly underwhelming for Graham.
Despite coming off the bench to score on his second debut for the club – in an 8-1 thrashing of Aston Villa’s Under 21s side in the EFL Trophy – things haven’t quite got going for Graham.
Although he has featured in six subsequent league games for Sunderland, Graham has started just twice for Phil Parkinson’s side – in a 2-0 win away to Oxford, and a goalless draw at Charlton – as the Black Cats find themselves seventh in the League One standings.
Graham is also still to net his second goal since returning to the club, which some fans may feel justifies their scepticism around their recruitment of the striker earlier in the summer.
However, it could be argued that with the likes of Charlie Wyke in the form that he is right now, it would be hard for most strikers at this level to force their way into the side, and at 35-years-old, Graham no longer has the fitness in him to be a regular starter, particularly in a season that has such a heavy schedule.
As a result, if Graham can continue to play the role of cover striker for the rest of the season to give those further up the pecking order a break when needed, he may still play a useful part in a successful campaign for Sunderland, even if on a personal level, he might not really get a proper chance to answer the questions asked of him by those Sunderland fans earlier this summer.