Who is Sam Winnall? The double promotion-winning Sheffield Wednesday striker linked with Sunderland

Sunderland have been linked with a late loan move for Sheffield Wednesday striker Sam Winnall - but who is he?

By Joe Nicholson
Thursday, 31st January 2019, 5:41 pm
Updated Thursday, 31st January 2019, 6:48 pm
Sheffield Wednesday striker Sam Winnall has been linked with a move to the Stadium of Light.
Sheffield Wednesday striker Sam Winnall has been linked with a move to the Stadium of Light.

Reports from Sheffield claim the Black Cats are interested in the 28-year-old frontman, who has previously won promotion from League One.

Wednesday boss Steve Bruce admitted earlier today the Owls have too many strikers at the club, meaning a loan move to the Stadium of Light is possible for Winnall.

We take a closer look at the latest man to be linked with the Black Cats:

What's his background?

After coming through the ranks at Wolves as a teenager, Winnall was regularly sent out on loan earlier in his career.

Following spells at Burton, Hereford, Inverness CT and Shrewsbury, the striker signed permanently for Scunthorpe in 2013 and become an instant hit at Glanford Park.

Winnall finished as the League Two top scorer in the 2013/14 season, after netting 23 goals in 45 appearances, as the Iron won promotion from the fourth tier.

That season earned the striker a move to Barnsley and, two years later, the forward had added another promotion to his CV.

Winnall scored 21 league goals as the Tykes won promotion from League One via the play-offs, but his career has been blighted by injury since then.

The striker also helped Barnsley win the EFL Trophy in the same year but didn't leave on the best terms after joining rivals Sheffield Wednesday.

Why are Wednesday prepared to let him go?

After moving to Wednesday in January 2017, Winnall struggled to nail down a first-team place and was sent out on loan to Derby at the start of last season.

During his time at Pride Park, Winnall suffered a serious knee injury which caused him to miss the second half of last season and the start of this campaign.

Despite the setback, the striker still scored six goals in 17 league appearances for the Rams.

Winnall has made just four appearances for Wednesday this term and hasn't started a game for the Owls since August 2017.

What sort of player is he?

At 5 ft 9, Winnall isn't the tallest striker but he's more than capable of holding the ball up and bringing others into play.

Yet the striker is best known for his goal-poaching ability, as shown by his prolific record at League One level.

At Barnsley, Winnall often played in a 4-4-2 formation and excelled alongside strike partner Marley Watkins.

What others have said about him?

Last season, then-Rams boss Gary Rowett was left frustrated following Winnall's injury, which coincided with his side's 1-0 defeat to Ipswich.

"Some of the games recently have been games in which balls have flashed across the box," said Rowett after the game.

"I'm pretty sure Sam might have got on the end of those."