With Josh Maja leaving for Bordeaux, Sunderland needed a proven goal scorer. They got one. After a long, drawn-out affair, the Black Cats signed prolific striker Will Grigg from Wigan Athletic on a £4 million deadline day deal. Can the Northern Ireland international fire his new team to the Championship?
Will Grigg Can Help Sunderland to Promotion
Signed With Seconds to Spare
Sunderland identified Grigg as their number one target very early in the transfer window but several bids were rejected with Wigan unwilling to sell. However, after receiving encouragement that a deal could be done, a new bid to match the player’s valuation was submitted. Again, this was rejected.
With Sunderland getting desperate to sign a striker, other avenues were explored. However, owner Stewart Donald was determined to get the man manager Jack Ross wanted. With seconds to spare on deadline day, a deal was agreed. Sunderland finally had the player they had been chasing all January.
Prolific in League One
Grigg is tried and tested in League One. In his past three seasons in the division, he has scored 20, 25 and 19 goals respectively. The striker has also gained promotion from League One four times in his last five attempts. He has scored 88 goals during this time.
Losing Josh Maja was seen as a blow; however, the more experienced Grigg could be an even better fit at Sunderland. The Black Cats have struggled, at times, to finish teams off. This has resulted in too many draws. With Grigg in the side, they now have a player with that clinical edge. The Northern Ireland international has been there and done it in League One. It’s time for him to do it again.
Ross and Donald Delighted
After chasing their number one target all window, manager Jack Ross and owner Stewart Donald were understandably delightful to get their man. “Jack, I know, really wanted Will and I thought I’ve just got to do the best I can do and put the best offer in that I can. We signed him I think with about 50 seconds to spare, we got the paper work back with four minutes to go and then had to get it through.”
As well as Stewart Donald being relieved, manager Ross had this to say. “He ticked every box. We have got the player in who, on paper, has given us the best chance of replicating that over the second half of the season.”
Sunderland’s new striker is understandably determined to repay the faith put in him by the Black Cats. A fee that could reach £4 million was required for Wigan to part with Grigg. However, for the fee to get to that, Sunderland would need to be promoted to the Premier League. Fans have everything crossed that Wigan will receive the full amount.
“The short term goal is promotion out of this league but the vision that everyone here has, the owner and everyone at the club, is to get the club back to where it deserves to be. I think anyone who has played with me and staff who have worked with me, they know that I can score goals at any level.”
Sunderland and their fans are desperate to get promotion at the first attempt. Having a player such as 27-year-old Grigg in the team can only help. There is little doubt that Grigg is one of, if not the best, League One striker in recent times. If he does what he has done at other clubs, the Black Cats have every chance of finishing in a promotion place.