Sunderland may have to prepare themselves for a battle this summer, as Norwich look set to swoop in for one of their main forwards in Ross Stewart, as reported by The Sun (27/03, pp.67).
The 25-year-old has been on fire for the Black Cats this season and despite the club changing managers and flip-flopping in and out of the play-off places, one consistent force has been the form of the striker for the club.
In a team that has sometimes struggled to get results, the Scottish forward has been able to continue to thrive. In League One this year, he has 22 goals in 39 league games – which gives him a superb average of 0.57 goals per 90 minutes.
Think you’re a hardcore Sunderland fan? Try get 25/25 on this tough Black Cats quiz
That’s despite only managing two starts and two goals for Sunderland during the last campaign but this year he has really come into his own and is now seen as the Black Cats main goal threat in attack.
His showings though, whilst being standout, have now caught the eye of teams much higher up the football pyramid. With Norwich considering their attacking options as they mull a potential drop down to the Championship again, it looks like they could be eyeing Stewart as a potential signing.
He’s unproven higher up in the EFL and the Premier League but the attacker has taken on all challenges so far in England and excelled – and the Canaries now see him as a contender to come in and bolster their own strikeforce next season.
Sunderland won’t want to let him leave but they may have no choice if the opportunity to play Championship or even Premier League football comes calling.
Ross Stewart is certainly an excellent striker at League One level and any third tier side that completes a deal for him is getting someone who can guarantee goals at that level.
Higher up the pyramid though, the player is somewhat of an unknown quantity. He’s never played any Championship football for example and there is certainly a jump up in terms of level, although not a massive one as showcased by Blackpool and Coventry’s rise in that division in recent seasons.
It would therefore be a risk for Norwich but a calculated one – Stewart can certainly cope with English football as he has proven already, it might not break the bank to sign him unless Sunderland are promoted and at 25, he still has time to get even better to boot.
It could be a great move for Norwich then – but it would be a huge blow to Sunderland to lose him.