LOUIS Saha says there are now goals in the current Sunderland squad in the wake of manager Martin O’Neill’s summer transfer work.
And the Frenchman is backing £12m man Steven Fletcher to weigh in with plenty of them, over the course of the 2012-13 campaign.
Fletcher, along with Bosman signing Saha, were brought in over the summer to reinforce Sunderland’s frail forward line.
But Saha believes that as well as any goals the duo might bring, new signing Adam Johnson will also transform Sunderland’s attacking options while players like James McClean – who scored both goals in the Capital One Cup victory over Morecambe last week – can also blossom.
He said: “I think we’ve got some good strikers and if we get a good spirit and a good set-up, we can score goals.
“It’s not only the strikers who can score goals.
“We’ve got quality in the side and it’s an enjoyable way to play football.
“It’s great to play here.
“We’ve got players like Lee Cattermole to make sure the balance is right defensively and going forward.
“I’m pretty sure we’ve got a good team and can go on to do good things.”
In Fletcher in particular, Saha feels Sunderland have signed a gem.
And after just a few training sessions with the Scottish forward, Saha says the 25-year-old’s quality is clear.
“I am not surprised at all with his start,” said Saha, reflecting on Fletcher’s two-goal burst on his Premier League debut for Sunderland – the 2-2 draw at Swansea at the weekend.
“This is just Steven’s first few games and I think we can expect even more from him.
“That is a good prospect.
“I don’t think this is the last time we will be talking about him.”
Saha replaced the former Wolves man just over an hour into Saturday’s game and was the victim of Swansea defender Chico Flores’ high-kick challenge – the Spaniard clipping the Sunderland striker’s ear with a reckless foul.
Some Swansea fans suggested Saha had over-reacted and the boot had barely touched him but the striker was quick to point out afterwards that he needed treatment for a bloodied ear.
He added: “I don’t think he was near the ball and it was a really strange challenge.
“If I had had the chance to keep running I could have had a good chance to score or do something.
“It was definitely a red card.”
Sunderland now have seven strikers on their books – Saha and Fletcher joining Stephane Sessegnon, Fraizer Campbell, Ji Dong-won, Connor Wickham and Ryan Noble.
But the arrival of the Frenchman and the Scot is likely to see Martin O’Neill consider emergency loan options – certainly for Noble but also possibly for Wickham and Ji.