Sunderland target multiple striker deals with Alex Neil wanting competition for Ross Stewart

Alex Neil wants to add more competition and variety to Sunderland’s attack ahead of their Championship opener against Coventry.
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The Black Cats are clearly short of options up front, with Ross Stewart their only recognised striker.

Sunderland are tracking Nathan Broadhead’s situation at Everton, following his impressive loan spell at the Stadium of Light last season, yet the 24-year-old has travelled with the Toffees squad on their pre-season tour of America.

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When asked if his squad needs more than just one more forward option, Neil told the Echo: “Yeah definitely, and that’s solely for that position.

Sunderland striker Ross Stewart playing against Dundee United.Sunderland striker Ross Stewart playing against Dundee United.
Sunderland striker Ross Stewart playing against Dundee United.

“We have other positions I think we still need to try and recruit in, but everybody behind the scenes is working together and we know what we have to do.

“It’s not as if that’s just my feeling, that’s the feeling across the board. We just need to work hard to try and get them across the line.”

Broadhead’s versatility meant he could play alongside Stewart in attack last season, while the Everton striker, who missed large parts of the campaign through injury, led the line in some of the side’s cup matches.

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“I think we always want a replacement so if Ross is not available we’ve got somebody there who can do a job,” added Neil.

“Equally we need competition to push him because everybody is not going to play well all the time and we need to have other guys who can step in and do a job.

“We also need variety, we want a different type who maybe offers something slightly different to what Ross can bring, but listen that’s the same in every position so it’s not solely for centre-forward, that’s across the board.”

Jack Clarke has played as a central striker for Tottenham’s under-23 side, and on some brief occasions for Sunderland.

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While Neil says the 21-year-old winger can play anywhere across the front line, the Black Cats boss would like more options in a central position.

Asked if Clarke could play up front during the upcoming season, Neil replied: “I’d hope that’s not the situation but we may well find ourselves there.

“There are a lot of things that are out of our control but it certainly is an option.”