Why Sunderland Must Beat Middlesbrough To The Signing Of West Ham United’s Robert Snodgrass
Sunderland have been quite open in their potential pursuit of West Ham United midfielder Robert Snodgrass, with manager Simon Grayson confirming that they will launch a loan bid for the former Leeds and Hull City man.
Local rivals Middlesbrough are also interested in his services, having lost Marten de Roon to Atalanta. Middlesbrough have other targets in mind too and it is much more prevalent that Sunderland land a decent midfielder before the summer transfer window slams shut once again.
In terms of a direct comparison between the two recently-relegated north east clubs, landing Snodgrass would be quite a coup for the Black Cats. A matter of days ago, they were talking about brining Grant Leadbitter back to the club from the Riverside and, although he would be popular, there is a big difference between taking a Boro ‘reject’ and landing a target ahead of them on merit.
Sunderland are woefully short of midfield players given the length of this league season and none of them look capable of chipping in with 10-15 goals in order for them to chase promotion. Snodgrass though is proven in this area and looks frankly too good for the Championship.
It amazes me how quickly footballers’ fortunes can change. When Robert Snodgrass moved from Hull City to West Ham in January, he did so having scored 7 of Hull’s goals in 20 appearances, with his departure being a major reason why they did not survive the drop.
He was all the rage then for club and country and had the look of a £20million man. He did not find the net in 15 league appearances in East London however, and has not made an appearance as of yet for the Hammers this season.
It is quite a sharp fall for a player with genuine talent. At 29 years of age, in theory, he should be right at his best now. He needs confidence and some familiar surroundings. His time in the north with Leeds and Hull mean that he would fit in at the north east.
So far, Snodgrass has well over 60 goals in professional football from midfield positions and at this stage of his career, that prowess will not simply disappear. The Scotland international would make a terrific signing for someone in this division and given the struggles that are to come, Sunderland would benefit the most if they signed him.