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‘They need quality’ – Sunderland hoping to win race for 26-goal forward: The verdict

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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…

Sunderland are among the EFL clubs keen on signing Irish forward Georgie Kelly on a free transfer in January, according to Football Insider

Preston North End and Wigan Athletic are also pursuing the 25-year-old, who is a free agent after leaving Bohemians on the back of an award-winning season.

Kelly scored 26 times as he finished as the Irish top tier’s leading scorer and was named PFA Ireland Player of the Year.

But would he be a good signing for Sunderland? And do they need him?

Our FLW writers share their thoughts…

Adam Jones

Georgie Kelly has hit his ceiling in the Irish top tier, so he deserves a move to a team like Sunderland that are currently pushing for promotion and seem to be on the up.

Given his record this term, he looks set to be a good option to compete with Ross Stewart and after losing Charlie Wyke, an injection of goalscoring prowess is exactly what they need.

His five assists should also be a reason for optimism for the Black Cats, setting up chances for others and potentially enabling Lee Johnson to play two up top.

This will help the Wearside outfit to retain their unpredictability – and he’s unlikely to be an expensive signing either – so it’s a low-risk gamble well worth taking in their quest to get back to the Championship.

They need quality in the winter window, but they also need value for money and if they can strike a good deal with Bohemians for him, they will almost certainly get that.

Jordan Rushworth

On the face of it signing a forward that is in the type of form that Georgie Kelly has been in for Bohemians this season could be a very good potential option for Sunderland in the January transfer window.

The 25-year-old has hit a major purple patch of form and he has fired home an impressive tally for Bohemians in the League of Ireland Premier Division. Those sorts of numbers showcase that he has been able to display a lot of calmness in front of goal and when in form he will be able to be a major threat in the final third.

However, Kelly is a player that has not had any experience playing outside of Ireland and therefore it would be a gamble from Sunderland that he would be able to translate his form across into League One if he made the move in January. In addition, he has not experienced playing for a club the size of the Black Cats playing under the weight of expectations that brings.

It could be worth a punt for Sunderland because if he came in and hit the same form he has been in this term then he would potentially add vital goals for them.

What club did Sunderland sign each of these 29 players from?

1 of 29

Lee Burge?

Chris Thorpe

They certainly need to add another striker to the squad, so in theory, this could be a great option for them.

He’s likely to come a lot cheaper than any targets that are based domestically and at the age of 25 still has room to develop further.

It’ll be interesting to see how he would fit in under Johnson as theoretically it could see them go to a two up top if needs be.

He may however have to learn that he will have to work hard to gain a place in the side, especially after the form that Ross Stewart and Nathan Broadhead have shown.

Nevertheless, this is a deal that would certainly improve the Sunderland squad moving forwards.


London-based sports journalist at Snack Media EFL accredited, graduate of New Associates and the University of Brighton

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: ‘They need quality’ – Sunderland hoping to win race for 26-goal forward: The verdict

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