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Jack Ross targets potential rather proven performers as Sunderland close in on striker swoop

Josh Maja is leading the line for Sunderland
Josh Maja is leading the line for Sunderland

Jack Ross is hopeful of landing a loanee striker early this week - and he is targeting forwards with potential.

The Sunderland boss is currently relying on Josh Maja to lead the attack, the 19-year-old scored his second goal of the season in the 1-1 draw with Luton Town.

But with Charlie Wyke (knee) and Jerome Sinclair (hamstring) both out injured, Ross is desperate to add another striker.

When they do return in the coming weeks, those two are experienced at this level so Ross is targeting a young loanee with potential to help bolster his options.

Asked if he was targeting quality younger players from higher division sides or experience from clubs around Sunderland, Ross revealed:

“I think probably the former, to be honest, because it’s a balancing act with what we’re going to have coming back. I’ll be conscious of that.

“At the moment we’re probably looking for potential rather than proven (players) because of the proven ones in the squad who will be back sooner rather than later.

“Charlie (Wyke) is proven in this league and Jerome (Sinclair) is proven at a good level as well.

“We have to be conscious of that as well.

“We want to make sure we’re not in a difficult position, and in the loan market that sometimes happens.”

Ross is hopeful of a breakthrough early this week on the striker hunt ahead of Thursday’s home Carabao Cup game against Sheffield Wednesday.

Sunderland had a fresh bid for Sheffield United striker Billy Sharp rejected before transfer deadline day, but can still add loan players before August 31.

Manchester United striker James Wilson is one of several strikers on Sunderland’s radar, though he is reported to want a loan move to a Championship club.

On Wilson, Ross admits there is nothing in it at the moment but concedes things change quickly. He added: “Nothing in that at the moment, it might change.

“There are a lot of players we have looked at and assessed but these players also have other options in terms of where they might go to. He is certainly one who we have been aware of but nothing imminent.

“I have said that before and things have changed quickly.”