The young Sunderland forward Jack Ross could hand a chance to as he seeks a goalscoring touch
Young Sunderland forward Lee Connelly’s prolific form has thrown up two questions: can he offer Jack Ross an extra goalscoring option - and continue in the footsteps of a Champions League winner?
With three goals in three Premier League 2 games in U23 football this season, the versatile Connelly looks equipped to succeed at a higher level.
Comfortable playing either wide right or as a central striker, the 19-year-old has some first-team experience after coming off the bench in last season’s EFL Trophy games against Carlisle United, Morecambe and Manchester City U23s.
He was also an unused substitute in Sunderland’s 2-1 defeat at Southend on the final day of the 2018-19 League One campaign.
But while the Black Cats have scored 16 times in the league this season, no one player has delivered consistent goals.
And Connelly could soon come into manager Ross’s thinking if he maintains his current form, despite being recently loaned out to neighbours South Shields.
A step up to League One would see Connelly progress in his bid to emulate Scotland captain and Liverpool icon Andrew Robertson’s stunning transition from the Scottish Second Division with Queen’s Park to the Premier League and beyond.
Robertson was overlooked by clubs north and south of the border before finally catching the eye of Dundee United while in the Scottish lower leagues, and them moving on to Hull and Liverpool.
Connelly was snapped up from Queen’s Park by Sunderland aged just 15 after also staying off the radar of Scotland’s Old Firm duo.