Sunderland boss O’Neill wants striker

NICKLAS BENDTNER ... stopped by police for erratic driving.
NICKLAS BENDTNER ... stopped by police for erratic driving.

MARTIN O’Neill has confirmed Sunderland’s priority in the transfer market this summer has to be a striker capable of reaching double figures.

Sunderland head into today’s clash against Bolton on the back of their longest lean streak of the season after going more than six-and-a-half hours without finding the net.

No one in Sunderland’s ranks has reached double figures this season with Seb Larsson and Stephane Sessegnon joint top scorers on eight, while on-loan Arsenal man Nicklas Bendtner can boast seven to his name.

With Bendtner not expected to remain at the Stadium of Light beyond the end of the season, outcast Asamoah Gyan set to complete a permanent switch to the Middle East and fellow strikers Connor Wickham and Ji Dong-won still unproven in the top flight, O’Neill will be left with paper-thin attacking options.

And that is something O’Neill intends to rectify in his summer spending, with Sunderland already linked to the likes of Wolves hitman Steven Fletcher, Aston Villa’s Gabby Agbonlahor and Bolton’s Kevin Davies.

O’Neill said: “Back in December, people were saying that we needed to bring in a goalscorer.

“We were able to disguise that fairly well because over the next few months we were able to get goals from other positions, which was very important to us.

“We need to get some players here scoring double figures to give ourselves any chance at all.”

SEE Saturday’s Mail for full story