EFL match balls. (Photo by Alex Burstow/Getty Images)

Sunderland transfer news: Big update on Stewart fitness, Ex-Black Cat in line for Premier League debut this weekend

On balance, Sunderland will probably be fairly pleased with their January transfer business.

Friday, 5th February 2021, 9:39 am

A productive month saw the Black Cats bring in a sprinkling of fresh talent in key areas, and Lee Johnson’s attacking options in particular look to have real diversity and flair to them.

One man who came through the door to make that the case was Ross Stewart from Ross County.

The Scot has been a key figure in Dingwall in recent seasons, and his tally of 11 goals in 26 outings last term – with a strike rate of one every 180 minutes – hints at a player who can provide a real threat over the course of the second half of the campaign in League One.

As yet, however, supporters have not been given a glimpse of their newest addition, with the 24-year-old arriving on Wearside carrying some minor fitness issues.

That could change in the near future, however.

Speaking about Stewart, manager Johnson said: “We’re being careful with him. We don’t want to rush him with a hamstring injury.

“He’s moving well, but he has to tick all the boxes. Best-case scenario, he will probably train with the squad on Monday but at the same time I will definitely keep the reins on him to make sure he is going to be fine.”

Elsewhere, ex-Sunderland striker Josh Maja could be in line to make his Premier League debut this weekend.

The 22-year-old has been drafted in on loan by struggling Fulham to help them drag themselves clear of a relegation battle, and could make his bow against West Ham on Saturday evening.

Speaking in a press conference on Thursday, manager Scott Parker said: “It’s his first day’s training session today. We’re looking forward to seeing his qualities and we’re pleased to have him on board.”

Maja left the north east at a key juncture in Sunderland's first season in League One, scoring 15 goals in 24 league outings before joining French outfit Bordeaux in the January transfer window.

The Black Cats brought in Will Grigg to replace him, but the Northern Irishman failed to make much of an impact on Wearside, and only managed eight goals in 61 outings before being loaned to MK Dons last month.

We’ve gathered the rest of today's League One transfer rumours below:

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