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 rivalling Hull City to the potential signing of Preston North End forward Jayden Stockley as exclusively revealed by us at Football League World.
The Sun on Sunday (17th January, page 59) have recently reported that Stockley will be allowed to leave the club in this month’s transfer window, and it seems as though two promotion-chasing League One teams are keen on a deal to land his signature in the near future.
The 27-year-old has made 19 appearances for Preston this season, as they currently sit 13th in the Championship table after 24 matches in this year’s campaign.
He has been with the club since 2019, but has now fallen behind Sean Maguire and Ched Evans in Alex Neil’s plans with the first-team, which has seen interest in his services heighten this month.
Sunderland are currently sat eighth in the League One table, and will be hoping they can win a timely promotion back into the Championship this term.
But would Stockley be a good addition to Lee Johnson’s side and is he needed?
This wouldn’t be a bad shout for Sunderland.
The Black Cats have struggled over the last year or so to find a frontman who can perform on a consistent basis in League One.
Jayden Stockley could be that man.
Will Grigg and Danny Graham are injured at the moment which means that they only have Charlie Wyke and Aiden O’Brien as options in attack, and so perhaps bringing in another option will serve them well.
I’m doubtful that the club could afford to bring him in right now, but perhaps if they were to move someone on and free up a chunk of the wage bill then this is a move that could materialise.
I could see Stockley being a decent signing for Sunderland.
Right now, it seems as though the Black Cats have only really got Charlie Wyke who they can rely on as a regular source of goals, so you can understand why they might want cover for him, should injury or suspension come into play.
Stockley might not have been particularly prolific for Preston during his time in the Championship in terms of goals, but his physicality and willingness to put himself about could still make him an asset, and given his return is more impressive lower down the leagues, he could still make an impact for Lee Johnson’s side in a League One promotion battle.
As a result, I do think this is one that could be well worth looking into for Sunderland, particularly considering Stockley himself could be open to the move, given the lack of the game time he is getting in Alex Neil’s Preston side so far this season.
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I think this would be a very ambitious move by the Black Cats at a time when Charlie Wyke has just started scoring again.
First of all I’m a little unsure as to whether Stockley would be an affordable acquisition due to the wage cap that has been placed on League One clubs this term.
There’s no doubting he is good enough to play at Sunderland’s level and above although they are well stocked up front.
I believe that the likes of Will Grigg and Danny Graham would have to be shafted in order for this move to be facilitated as for now I don’t feel he is really needed by Lee Johnson’s side.