We brought you the exclusive on Sunday that Sunderland are interested in Rotherham United striker Freddie Ladapo.
The 28-year-old presents some unique value in the market for the Black Cats having handed in a transfer request at the New York Stadium last week, and the pursuit of his services should be treated as a matter of very high priority at the Stadium of Light this month.
The peaks and troughs in the Black Cats’ season have been very clear to see and adding further competition for places in the final third, could hold the key to maintaining some consistency in their results. The Millers will not be wanting to sell Ladapo to a direct rival for the title and even an automatic promotion place, but money talks and player power can have a part to play in luring the former Crystal Palace man to Wearside.
Sunderland are currently on a ten match unbeaten run in the third tier with leading marksman Ross Stewart scoring six goals in his last three games. However, the backup options to lead the line incase Stewart picks up an injury are very limited especially after Nathan Broadhead’s injury.
Ladapo’s contract runs out at the end of the season and the chance to weaken a direct rival simultaneously should be pounced on. Despite the Black Cats’ recent impressive run, Wigan Athletic are still top of the league on points per game and will be favourites to go up automatically with Rotherham, this is a chance to completely alter all of that into Sunderland’s favour.
Quiz: Can you name which club Sunderland signed these 28 midfielders from?
It is not just value and a chance to weaken a direct rival though, Ladapo has proven himself as a force to be reckoned with in both League One and the Championship in recent years. The Black Cats should be looking for a new central striker outside of Ladapo anyway, but adding a player with almost 50 goals at the level can only help your chances of winning promotion to the Championship. It would send a statement to the rest of the division if Sunderland are able to get a deal done for Ladapo, with it hugely enhancing their chances of ending their four season spell in the third tier.