This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict‘ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Sheffield United have entered the transfer race for Sunderland hot-shot Ross Stewart, according to a report from The Mirror (May 26, page 62).
The 25-year-old scored 26 times in League One this past season to help secure the Black Cats’ spot back in the Championship for the 2022-23 campaign, and he’s attracting significant interest because of that.
Sunderland will not want to lose the Scot this summer, especially to a divisional rival, but they are in a precarious position as Stewart’s contract expires next summer.
The Blades meanwhile are looking to bolster their attacking options, with Oli McBurnie going the entire season without a league goal and the release of both David McGoldrick and Lys Mousset leaving Paul Heckingbottom’s attacking options looking thread-bare.
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Would Stewart be a good addition to the ranks at Bramall Lane though? We’ve asked the FLW team for their thoughts.
It really depends on how many of their current strikers they’re able to move on in the summer.
Injuries meant they were out of options during the Championship play-offs but with the likes of Billy Sharp, Rhian Brewster, and Oli McBurnie set to return to fitness, Ross Stewart seems an unnecessary acquisition unless they plan on moving any of those players out.
The physical forward has been a goal machine for Sunderland this season but that doesn’t guarantee him goals in the Championship.
If McBurnie can be sold, then Stewart would be a useful replacement but I’m not convinced he should be at the top of their list.
For me, there are better strikers out there.
Sheffield United should only be looking to make a move for Ross Stewart if they believe that they are capable of finding potential suitors for Oliver Burke and Oliver McBurnie this summer.
Burke has only managed to find the back of the net on two occasions since making the switch to Bramall Lane whilst McBurnie has also failed to deliver the goods on a consistent basis for the Blades.
Having scored 26 goals for Sunderland last season, Stewart could potentially provide some much-needed competition for Billy Sharp in the upcoming campaign if he hits the ground running for United.
With Middlesbrough and QPR also weighing up a potential swoop for Stewart, the Blades will need to move quickly in order to have the best chance of securing the forward’s services.
This would be an excellent signing for United if they can pull it off.
Stewart now looks ready to compete in the Championship having scored 24 league goals for Sunderland last season.
The Blades will need a long-term replacement for Billy Sharp who is coming to the closing stages of his career.
Stewart would be an obvious successor to the 36-year old and could help ease the pressure on the team’s reliance for Sharp’s goals.
However, with Sunderland having earned promotion this summer he may opt to stay at the Stadium of Light for another season.