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‘Would be a real statement of intent’ – Sunderland set sights on signing 30-year-old: 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 reportedly keen on signing Celtic forward Leigh Griffiths on a season-long loan deal, according to The Scottish Sun.

Griffiths has been with the Scottish giants since 2014, and has gone on to score 123 goals in 262 appearances for Celtic over the years, although he has found consistent minutes hard to come by in recent seasons.

The 30-year-old was restricted to just 26 appearances last term, in what was a frustrating league campaign for the Bhoys, as they finished second in the Scottish Premiership.

Sunderland are looking to find a suitable replacement for Charlie Wyke this summer, after the forward opted to move to Wigan Athletic this summer, instead of signing a new deal with Lee Johnson’s side.

We ask our Football League World writers what they make of Sunderland’s rumoured interest in signing Griffiths this summer, and whether he’d be a good addition to their team or not.

Ben Wignall:

If Sunderland were manage to do a deal to bring Griffiths to Wearside then I think it would be a real statement of intent for their promotion aspirations.

The Black Cats clearly need a real goalscorer to replace Charlie Wyke’s exploits from last season, and Griffiths is someone who has done it for plenty of years not only in the Scottish Premiership but in League One for Wolves as a youngster.

There’s no doubting that Griffiths’ last few seasons with Celtic have been a bit more low-key, with Odsonne Edouard taking over the scoring mantle and as a result pushing the Scotland international down the pecking order, and even though he’s just signed a new contract he may just need a fresh start elsewhere to get going again.

I do imagine though that Griffiths will be on a decent wage at Celtic so that could be a road block in Sunderland’s attempts to sign him, but I have no doubt that if they can get a deal over the line, Griffiths will score a hatful of goals in League One.

Toby Wilding:

This could be worth looking into for Sunderland.

With Charlie Wyke’s departure this summer having already been confirmed, it seems inevitable the Black Cats are going to have to add another goalscorer to their squad this summer.

Although things haven’t quite worked for Griffiths in front of goal in the past couple of years, there can be no doubt he does have the ability to make an impression in front of goal, and if he can rediscover that form, then he could be an asset to Sunderland next season.

Indeed, that change of surrounding could prove useful for Griffiths as he looks to get back to his best, meaning this could be a move that appeals to him as well, meaning it could work well all-round.

As a result, this may not be the worst deal for Sunderland to try and get done this summer.

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Jordan Rushworth:

This would be a very interesting signing for Sunderland to make this summer and it would be a coup for them to secure the signature of a player who has Champions League experience and has also netted 123 goals in 262 appearances for Celtic since 2014.

The forward is a natural goalscorer and he would bring goals to the side for sure at Sunderland in League One. He managed to score 12 goals in 26 League One games for Wolves in the third tier way back in the 2013/14 campaign and that underlines that he would be someone capable of scoring at a rate of one in two, which is often what you need to challenge for promotion.

Griffiths has not had as much football as he would have been wanting in recent campaigns at Celtic with him having found himself behind Odsonne Edouard in the pecking order upfront.

That is understandable given the form that the forward has shown during his time at Celtic Park.

If Celtic make it clear to the forward that he is not in their plans to be an important player for them next term, then it might be an excellent move for him to go down to Sunderland and get a season of regular football under his belt.


Editorial Assistant at Snack Media, writing for Football League World on a regular basis! Sports Journalism graduate from Southampton Solent University.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: ‘Would be a real statement of intent’ – Sunderland set sights on signing 30-year-old: The verdict

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