April 23, 2024

Sunderland have made it a priority to find a new striker during this transfer season.

Michael Beale wants to bring in a proven Championship goalscorer to help propel the club into the play-offs.

In reality, the Black Cats have struggled to score centrally since the summer, when Ross Stewart left for Southampton.

Although Tony Mowbray made an effort to address that vacuum by signing Mason Burstow, Nazariy Rusyn, and Luis Hemir Semedo, the money wasn’t spent correctly, and Beale is now stuck with a trio who have struggled to hit the net.

Sunderland’s sole striker to score this season has been Rusyn, but his goal in the 2-0 win over Preston wasn’t enough to persuade Beale that they had enough firepower.

Indeed, the Wearsiders have been linked with a slew of loan strikers, including Bournemouth’s Kieffer Moore, but he faces stiff competition in the Championship.

Blackburn Rovers forward Sam Gallagher is another name on their radar.

Although he should be easier to sign than Moore, his record of 48 goals in 246 second-tier outings will not convince anyone that he is the guy to propel Sunderland to promotion.

Instead, Beale should consider Burnley striker Michael Obafemi, who is a considerably superior option than the 28-year-old.

 

Michael Obafemi: Burnley striker to miss start of the season because of  injury - BBC Sport

 

Why should Sunderland sign Michael Obafemi above Sam Gallagher?

Obafemi might leave Turf Moor on loan this month, according to journalist Darren Witcoop, and would be a good signing for any Championship club.

“Michael Obafembi could be on the move this month,” he wrote on X (previously Twitter). Keep an eye on him. At Burnley, the Irishman had an injury-plagued start to the season. The ex-Swansea striker would be an excellent signing for a Championship club looking for firepower.”

With this in mind, Sunderland should be among the clubs interested in loaning out the Republic of Ireland international.

Obafemi is a more clinical forward than Gallagher, with a solid 40 goals in 100 appearances at the senior and youth levels, according to Transfermarkt.

He scored 13 goals in 32 appearances for Swansea City in the 2021/22 Championship season.

Gallagher’s greatest season in his career, on the other hand, was an 11-goal haul at Blackburn in 2016/17.

Aside from outscoring his opponent, Obafemi has a better all-around game, connecting up play with his immaculate passing and weaving in and out of opponents with his low center of gravity.

According to Sofascore, the Rovers player only completed 55% of his passes last season and only 26% of his dribbles correctly.

Meanwhile, in that 2021/22 season when he was on fire with the Swans, Obafemi had an 83% pass completion and 50% dribbles, demonstrating that he’s better at bringing his teammates into action and causing a threat from behind.

Former Southampton boss Mark Hughes praised the 23-year-old’s “unbelievable pace,” and he can enhance Sunderland’s offense with his searing speed on the counter.

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