According to The Northern Echo, Sunderland have reignited their interest in Sheffield Wednesday striker Sam Winnall, who had been linked with a move to the Stadium of Light in the winter transfer window a year ago.
Sunderland have had the 28-year-old on their radar ever since his prolific spell at Barnsley and manager Phil Parkinson needs to add some much-needed firepower to his attack during the mid-season trading period in a bid to bolster his team’s promotion push in the coming months. (h/t Northern Echo)
The Black Cats are currently placed 13th in the standings, four points adrift of the top-six in the League One standings. Parkinson must improve on a tally of 28 goals scored in 22 games, with the likes of Will Grigg, Charlie Wyke and Marc McNulty netting nine goals among them.
Winnall, who rose through the youth ranks of Wolves, bagged 23 goals in 45 appearances for Scunthorpe United in the League Two during the 2013-14 season before earning a move to Barnsley in the third-tier in the summer of 2014.
The Wolverhampton-born hitman fired the Tykes to promotion via the playoffs and a triumphant EFL Trophy campaign with a tally of 24 goals in 56 appearances across all competitions during the 2015-16 season and replicated that form in the Championship in the following campaign.
Returns of 11 goals in 22 appearances in the second-tier during the first half of the 2016-17 season paved the way for a move to Sheffield Wednesday in January 2017 but Winnall’s switch to Hillsborough has proven to be an absolute disaster, with the striker failing to live up to the expectations.
Winnall, who spent time on loan at Derby County during the 2017-18 campaign, started only once in the Championship for the Owls last term and his situation at Hillsborough hasn’t improved significantly under Garry Monk this season.
The 28-year-old has clocked up a meagre 339 minutes of Championship football at Hillsborough so far this season, starting only thrice and featuring as a substitute on a further seven occasions, with Monk preferring top-scorer Steven Fletcher as the first-choice in front of the goal.
The former Barnsley star has managed to score just 5 times in 38 appearances for the Owls across all competitions over the past three years.
To put things into perspective, things clearly haven’t worked out well for Sam Winnall at Sheffield Wednesday and it would make perfect sense for the Owls to cash in on the out-of-favour striker before the end of the month to avoid losing him for nothing in the summer.
With Jordan Rhodes pretty much a peripheral figure at the club despite his hat-trick heroics against Nottingham Forest and Adthe Nuhiu only scoring twice so far in the Championship, Monk needs to bring in a reliable back-up striker to release the pressure on Fletcher.
Winnall doesn’t seem to be in the manager’s plans at Hillsborough and moving him on in January would free up some valuable space in the squad to make way for a new striker.
The Owls have plenty of players who are out of contract at the end of the season and parting ways with Winnall would certainly reduce the club’s wage bills.
Looking at things from the player’s perspective, the 28-year-old is still in his prime and his chances of playing regularly at Sunderland in the League One certainly look better.
The Black Cats need another striker to help them in their pursuit of promotion and Winnall’s proven track record in the third-tier makes him a perfect fit for Phil Parkinson’s system.
All in all, Sheffield Wednesday wielding the axe on Sam Winnall in January amidst interest from Sunderland would make perfect sense for all parties involved.
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