April 13, 2024

Sunderland may regret not spending the money on one ‘unbelievable’ striker last summer.

Sunderland lost Ross Stewart to injury more than a year ago, and they have yet to add a proven Championship goalscorer to their roster.

On transfer deadline day, the Scot left for a huge £10 million fee, and the Black Cats were anticipated to fill the vacancy with that money, but they instead signed Nazariy Rusyn, Mason Burstow, Luis Hemir Semedo, and Eliezer Mayenda.

The club was ready to invest in the youth, which had previously worked with Dan Ballard and Jack Clarke, but acquiring four forwards who had never played a minute of English football has not worked out.

Sunderland have gone two transfer windows without a proven striker and have been associated with a long list of forwards, including Kieffer Moore and Tom Cannon, but have failed to sign them.

Ellis Simms, a former target, is now proven himself against Premier League opposition, having scored twice against Wolves yesterday to propel Coventry City to the FA Cup semi-finals.

The ‘unbelievable’ striker spent the first half of the 2022-23 season on loan at Sunderland, scoring nine goals in 17 Championship games, six of which came in his last eight games before being recalled by Everton.

The Black Cats were anxious to bring Simms back on a permanent basis in the summer, but faced stiff competition for his signing, forcing them to withdraw from the contest since they couldn’t afford his £8 million price tag.

It looked exorbitant at the time, but his recent success with Coventry is a difficult pill to chew for Sunderland.

Simms only scored two goals in his first 25 outings with the Sky Blues, but he has since found his feet, contributing 15 goals in his last 18 games across all competitions.

The 23-year-old scored his first hat-trick in a 5-0 win against Maidstone United last month, and added another against Rotherham United a week later.

After scoring six goals in his previous four games, Simms pushed it to the next level by scoring twice in a dramatic 3-2 victory at Molineux Stadium yesterday.

Simms received a perfect 10 from CoventryLive for his outstanding performance, which enabled Mark Robins’ team reach Wembley Stadium.

Should Sunderland have signed Ellis Simms from Everton?

Ellis Simms: Everton recall striker five months into season-long loan with  Sunderland - BBC Sport

 

His form has also helped Coventry climb the Championship table, where they are now only four points away from the playoffs and eight points ahead of Sunderland.

Everton wanted a high fee for Simms’ services, although there was no doubt that the Black Cats could have afforded it following Stewart’s sale.

It’s not to argue that the club should have spent money to bring him back to the Stadium of Light, but it’s really irritating to see a guy excel so much while we can’t hit the net on a consistent basis.

This judgment, like Kieffer Moore’s six in 10 games, reflects poorly on Kyril-Louis Dreyfus and Kristjaan Speakman.

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