Sunderland have been searching for reliable marksman for many years. It is a search that actually stretches back as far as 2012 when they unloaded £14m to sign Steven Fletcher from Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Who was the best signing for Sunderland out of these names?
To back it up with 11 goals for the Black Cats in his debut season only sought to confirm this notion, as it looked like they finally had the reliable goal scorer capable of firing them up the table to safety.
However, the form he would back it up with proved that this season had been nothing more than one that bred a false sense of security for the fans on Wearside.
The 35-year-old was handed numerous chances to recapture this form and featured 108 times for Sunderland. However, a return of just 23 goals marked yet another miserable transfer for a side that would get relegated just one year after Fletcher’s departure.
To make the situation even worse, they lost his services on a free after his contract had run down. Whilst he sat on wages of around £45k-per-week, his toothless nature in front of goal cost his side and the club dearly.
Fletcher now plays his football in the Scottish Premiership but still struggles for goals it seems. With just one goal in his opening six to start the season, it seems that Dundee United too are suffering from his lack of lethality.
Ex-manager Martin O’Neill certainly had blood on his hands with this transfer blunder as it adds to a long list of foolish financial decisions that ultimately sent the club down the divisions.
Now back in the Championship and praying for a promotion push, perhaps under Tony Mowbray there might finally be some light at the end of the tunnel with youngster Ellis Simms up top.