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 striker Ross Stewart is on the radar of Swansea City, according to the Daily Record.
Stewart is League One’s leading scorer this term and has seven in his last four games.
But were the Swans to follow up on their interest in the striker, should Sunderland cash in or keep hold of him?
Our FLW writers issue their verdicts…
Can you name which club Sunderland signed these 28 midfielders from?
When you consider just how impressive Ross Stewart has been for Sunderland this season, it is hardly a shock that he is attracting interest from elsewhere.
Whilst the Black Cats could secure a sizeable fee for the forward due to the fact that his contract is set to run until 2023, selling him at this stage of the transfer window could have a negative impact on their promotion hopes.
Having netted 18 goals in the third-tier during the current campaign, Stewart may be able to fire his side back into the Championship if he stays at Stadium of Light.
With there being no guarantee that Sunderland will be able to draft in a sufficient replacement for the forward, they must hold firm if Swansea decide to test their resolve by submitting a bid.
Sunderland should definitely be looking to hold on to Stewart at this stage.
Not only did they lose Charlie Wyke in the summer, but Nathan Broadhead is also out for a few months so it would be silly to cash in now.
The Black Cats need to be focusing on adding to their strike force as opposed to taking away from it – and removing Stewart from the picture would only help to create instability.
This is why it would be a massive offer to lure him away from the Stadium of Light – and it needs to be a fee that allows Lee Johnson to make not just one, but a couple of signings in the forward department.
They simply must keep him.
The 25-year-old is League One’s top goalscorer this season with 18 goals and has been a major reason behind the Black Cats’ charge towards the top two in the league.
Lee Johnson has created a clear style of play that suits Stewart’s strengths and keeping him fit and firing could be the difference between them making a long-awaited return to the second tier.
He’d be a really good signing for Swansea City if they did manage to get a deal over the line, he’d provide fantastic competition for Joel Piroe up-front but ultimately I just can’t see Sunderland departing with one of their most prized assets.