Championship

Sunderland: Phil Smith bemoans Black Cats missing out on Nathan Broadhead

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Journalist Phil Smith is still ruing the fact Sunderland failed to sign summer transfer target Nathan Broadhead amid their striker injury woes.

Sunderland appeared to have a solid summer transfer window, bringing in 10 new faces to help them in their first campaign back in the Championship since the 2017/18 season when they finished bottom of the league.

However, one position they seemingly didn’t address enough was at striker, with only Ellis Simms arriving. Now, with both him and Ross Stewart on the sidelines, Tony Mowbray is now short of options at centre-forward.

This is why, speaking on The Roar podcast, Smith has been discussing Sunderland’s inability to bring back Broadhead, who ended up joining Wigan Athletic.

He said: “I still think it’s such a shame that they couldn’t get that Broadhead deal over the line. He had such a good impact last season, a different type of striker, brings something a bit different, and you’re looking at it now thinking he would have started the last three games – and what an opportunity that would have been to make his mark and potentially play his way into Wales consideration, and all that kind of stuff.

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“It’s hard to sort of knock his own decision, but that’s a real frustration for me, because I just think he would have already had a massive opportunity to really stamp his authority on the division.”

TIF Thoughts on Sunderland missing out on Broadhead…

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, and indeed, going all out to bring in Broadhead over the summer to give Mowbray more options at the centre-forward position would have been smart looking at the club’s striker situation as it currently stands, however, it’s no surprise that he decided against joining Sunderland given that Stewart and Simms were already at the club.

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This current PL centre-back almost signed for Sunderland back in 2015.

If Broadhead had joined the Black Cats, one of Stewart, Simms or the current Wigan star would have missed out on a starting spot, which would have done none of them any good, so it is hardly a shock that Broadhead opted for their Championship rivals.

However, Broadhead would have fit into Sunderland’s system very well considering how successful he was last term, managing to score 13 goals and being part of the side that clinched promotion out of League One, so it will be interesting to see who’s performed better out of Simms and Broadhead come the end of the season.

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