Sunderland’s reliance on the goal scoring exploits of Ross Stewart is there for all to see, with the Scotsman leading the way on 10 goals for the Black Cats.
Aside from the January signing from Ross County, Lee Johnson only has the youthful Nathan Broadhead to call upon as a another option up top.
Add to the fact that the latter is currently on loan from his parent side Everton and due to return to Goodison Park in the summer and it is fair to say that there is certainly scope for the North East outfit to bring in a new frontman in the not too distant future.
There are sure to be plenty of options on offer come the opening of the January transfer window, however none may be as appealing as Middlesbrough’s Uche Ikpeazu, after the Sky Bet Championship side elected to publish their intention to listen to offers for the 26-year-old recently.
Indeed it is perhaps slightly unsurprising to see Boro taking this stance, with the striker having fallen out of favour at the Riverside Stadium since his move from Wycombe Wanderers during the last transfer window.
Quiz: Have Sunderland ever won an away game at each of these 20 stadiums?
Whether they will get a return on their investment at the turn of the new year remains to be seen and for that reason they could well be in favour of being open to more complex agreements.
This is where Sunderland could well come into the equation, with the club’s financial situation sure to restrict them to making more calculated moves as opposed to splashing the cash.
A loan offer with an option to buy at the end of the season could be a method that appeals to the Black Cats when it comes to developing an interest in Ikpeazu, particularly as he has proven himself in the lower reaches of the Football League in the past.
Ikpeazu also offers far more physicality than that of Stewart and Broadhead and his arrival at the Stadium of Light would also give the League One side the option to experiment with two up top, with Johnson having largely plucked for playing a lone striker for much of the campaign.
Opportunities to bring in such a player do not come about at the best of times let alone in the January window and surely the Black Cats would be interested in getting Ikpeazu to move across the North East if it appears to be financially viable.