Why Kyle Lafferty Might Not Be The Right Man To Save Sunderland’s Season
Hearts forward Kyle Lafferty may yet leave Edinburgh during this window with English Championship strugglers Sunderland reportedly interested in his services. Having let Lewis Grabban leave and not truly recovering from an awful start to the season, Sunderland are desperate for goals and may turn to the former Rangers man to help them out.
Although the loss of Grabban is definitely a factor, things have not really improved an awful lot since Chris Coleman took over at the Stadium of Light, results-wise anyway. A new striker has become the priority for the former Wales manager between now and deadline day if the Black Cats are to salvage the season.
Losing Lafferty at this stage would be cruel on Hearts though. The fans have really taken to him after he publicly chose them over Hibernian in the summer but should Sunderland stump up a reasonable transfer fee then it appears the Tynecastle club would find it hard to say no.
Any fee would be seen as pure profit for Hearts, Lafferty having done little wrong on the field this term after arriving for nothing in June. As usual, things haven’t gone completely quietly with Lafferty around since he returned to Scottish football following his time in England, Italy, Switzerland and Turkey.
In terms of the highs; his terrific free-kick against his old club Rangers and the part he played when scoring in the 4-0 win against Celtic are right up there although the revelation of his gambling addiction means it is now public that whoever takes him on understands he comes with baggage.
Although he ultimately didn’t live up to expectations at Rangers having signed from Burnley, it must be said in the interests of fairness that he was often played out of position on the left-hand side as Walter Smith understandably preferred Steven Naismith, Kris Boyd or Kenny Miller up front during a time when the Light Blues were very much top dogs in the division.
That being said, it was well known locally that Lafferty was pretty much the epitome of the modern, silly young footballer and he could have done much, much more with his talent. Maybe now we know why he didn’t?
From that point, he has arguably just gone back and now finds himself with, for the want of a much better phrase, one of the also-rans in Scottish football which is perhaps brutal, but fair.
The fact that he finds himself in this position at 30 probably shows that he will get no better now, so given the relative strength (or weakness) of the Premiership versus the English Championship I’d say signing someone who gets a goal every 3 games at that level is not the man to save the Black Cats. I do hope he enjoys what’s left of his career though and maybe he has found the right club at Hearts.