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Chronicle Live
Chronicle Live
Matty Hewitt

Four loan players Sunderland could target in January to strengthen play-off bid

Sunderland are in a strong position as the midway point in January approaches. Tony Mowbray's side are just four points off third place in the Championship and have adjusted to life incredibly well back in the second tier.

Nonetheless, the Wearsiders are yet to bolster their squad and were dealt a blow before the window even opened with Everton recalling striker Ellis Simms. The loanee had been in impressive form for the Black Cats, despite missing a chunk of the season with injury.

If Sunderland are to maintain their play-off push, any investment into the squad in January will only strengthen that bid. Chronicle Live has taken a look at four players who could make the move to the Stadium of Light on loan.

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Sam Surridge

One name linked with Sunderland already in January is Nottingham Forest striker Sam Surridge. The striker joined Steve Cooper's side a year ago, helping them win promotion to the Premier League.

The former Bournemouth striker has found his game time limited this year, after an influx of players in a bid to avoid the drop. The 24-year-old has been linked with a loan move to the Stadium of Light following Simms' recall, in a deal that would likely suit both parties.

Surridge has scored ten goals in 38 appearances for Forest since joining last January.

Charlie McNeill

Manchester United youngster Charlie McNeill has also been linked with a loan move to the Stadium of Light. Tony Mowbray has said his side were working on bringing a young striker to the club after Simms' departure, while they were also working on a permanent transfer.

The 19-year-old looks set to leave Old Trafford in January, with a loan the most likely option. The Black Cats already have a good rapport with the Red Devils after taking Amad Diallo on loan in the summer.

Eric Ten Hag's side could be swayed to send another youngster to Wearside given how well Diallo has fared.

Jan Paul van Hecke

Unlike the rest of the names on this list, Jan Paul van Hecke, is a centre-half who was linked with a move to Wearside in the summer. However, the 22-year-old Dutch defender stayed at Brighton under Graham Potter's watchful eye, but has played just once for the Seagulls in the Premier League.

The young defender impressed on loan with Blackburn Rovers last season, who were also keen on signing the youngster again in the summer. Sunderland's recent injury track record has not been kind, but with the winter break allowing important players, such as Dan Ballard, time to get back fit, they may look to strengthen further forward.

Luke O'Nien has once again showed his versatility, slotting in at centre-back throughout the campaign.

Ellis Simms

Despite leaving the club before the window had opened, Kristjaan Speakman has not given up hope of bringing Simms back to Wearside. The Everton loanee was recalled with Frank Lampard's side struggling in front of goal.

The 21-year-old came of the bench in the Toffees recent thrashing at the hands of Brighton with pressure mounting on the Blues boss. If Lampard is relieved of his duties as head coach, or Everton bring in a striker in January, it could pave the way for Simms to return to Wearside.

Speakman told the club website: "If there's an opportunity for Ellis to come back we're open to that, and now that he's played for Everton [against Brighton] through the two-club rule he can only play for either them or us moving forward this season. It's going to be an interesting conversation maybe at some point in January on whether that's a possibility."

Simms would be unavailable to feature for another club this season having already pulled on the red and white of Sunderland and the blue and white of Everton.


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