Black Cats struggling but this Sunderland ace is on course for a record-breaking season

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Lewis Grabban is on course to break a dazzling goalscoring record in a season of gloom at Sunderland.

At his current scoring rate – with his 10 goals in 14 Championship games having helped keep the Black Cats in touch with clubs above them in the Championship - Grabban is destined to hit 30 league goals.

Lewis Grabban scores his tenth goal of the season in the 2-1 defeat to Aston Villa. Picture by Frank Reid.

Lewis Grabban scores his tenth goal of the season in the 2-1 defeat to Aston Villa. Picture by Frank Reid.

That would make him the most prolific loan signing in the history of the Championship.

And even more notably, it would see the 29-year-old, on a season-long loan deal from Bournemouth, match Glenn Murray for the best haul by any striker in the second tier this century.

Murray hit 30 goals for Crystal Palace in 2012/13.

Even Kevin Phillips, the hero of Sunderland’s promotion from the second tier in 1997-98, 'only' managed 29 league goals that season.

And as Sunderland are hoping for an upturn of form under new boss Chris Coleman, what price for even greater success for Grabban in front of goal?

Here’s a look at five past Championship loan strikers who he threatens to out-do in a season of personal triumph against the odds.

Tammy Abraham (Bristol City – 2016/17) 23 league goals

One of a myriad Chelsea players out on loan last year, Abraham was a real success story at Ashton Gate, breaking the record for most scored by a teenager in the Championship.

His exploits earned him another loan move at the start of this season - but this time to the Premier League with Swansea City.

Patrick Bamford (Middlesbrough – 2014-15) 17 league goals

Although Boro’s season ended in disappointment with defeat in the play-off final, Bamford starred for Aitor Karanka’s men on loan from - you guessed it - Chelsea.

After not far off a goal in every other of his 39 league games that season, Bamford went on to have three more loan spells before returning to the Riverside in January 2017 on a permanent deal.

Federico Macheda (Doncaster Rovers and Birmingham City 2013-14) 13 league goals

Manchester United’s Italian had three loan spells in the Championship during 2013-14 - two with Doncaster and one with Birmingham.

After a storming start to life at the Keepmoat, with three goals in as many games including the winner against local rivals Sheffield Wednesday, Macheda was injured and recalled to Old Trafford, only to return to Doncaster for another, less happy spell of 10 league games without a goal.

Better followed early in 2017, as Macheda joined Birmingham and scored 10 goals in 16 for the Blues

Matej Vydra (Watford – 2012-13) 20 league goals

One of the many controversial loan deals between Watford and Italian club Udinese, Vydra stormed on to the Championship scene, helping Gianfranco Zola’s men to the play-off final.

But Wembley brought woe for the young Czech, as he was substituted at half-time due to injury and the Hornets lost to Crystal Palace.

Chris Wood (Birmingham City and Bristol City – 2011/12) 12 league goals

The New Zealand international was sent out on loan from West Bromwich Albion six times in five seasons at The Hawthorns, including two stints in the Championship during 2011/12.

Having scored nine goals in 23 league appearances for Birmingham, Wood struggled somewhat at Ashton Gate after joining in January 2012, finding the net just three times in 19 games.