Stephen Elliott: Why this Sunderland January signing could prove key in the fight for automatic promotion

I was delighted to see Ross Stewart named on the substitutes bench on Sunday.

Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 4:45 pm

He could prove to be an important player in the upcoming weeks.

First and foremost having another available striker will give Lee Johnson another – and a different – option to look at.

Charlie Wyke has been nothing short of outstanding since the manager has come in and there’s no reason why this form will not continue.

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Sunderland celebrate winning the Papa John's Trophy.

With the ammunition being provided by the likes of Aiden McGeady, Jordan Jones and Chris Maguire you would be silly to bet against the big man walking away with the league’s Golden Boot come May.

However, having Stewart waiting in the wings may just be the catalyst that will keep Wyke on his toes and not let him fall into that comfort zone of knowing he is going to play no matter what.

Stewart has come to the club with a decent reputation in Scotland and I’ve no doubt he would have been looking on in recent weeks and have been desperate for a piece of the action.

Having Stewart involved will give opposing teams a problem as they won’t have seen much of him.

Let’s hope when he is given his opportunity he will embrace it and hit the ground running.

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