Major fitness boost for Sunderland as club wait on Nathan Broadhead update after Everton loanee suffers hamstring blow

Leon Dajaku is set to bolster Sunderland’s ranks and provide Lee Johnson with a valuable extra attacking option as Nathan Broadhead waits for a full prognosis on his hamstring injury.

Sunderland striker Nathan Broadhead
Sunderland striker Nathan Broadhead

Broadhead was forced off shortly after scoring at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday night, with Sunderland expecting him to be facing a spell on the sidelines.

Though on the other leg, a similar injury kept the Everton loanee out for around five weeks earlier in the season.

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Sunderland assistant head coach Jamie McAllister says he is confident there are options in the squad to manage the setback, whether it be through a striker like Aiden O’Brien, or through bringing in another attacking midfielder.

"We have got that versatility, with players like Pritch and Elliot Embleton,” he said.

"We’ve got Leon Dajaku as well, so we’ve got that versatility whether it be to go one up top, or to bring someone in to partner Ross Stewart.

“There was a quite of swelling for Leon after that contact injury but he’s progressing really well, so we’re hoping that he’ll be OK for Monday.

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“He’s making good progress.”

Dennis Cirkin is also likely to be in the squad after recovering from a double hernia operation.

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Cirkin was in the matchday 20 on Tuesday night and though he likely would only have been able to play a short cameo role if required, he is closing in on full fitness.

Head coach Lee Johnson admitted after the Arsenal game that the injury to Broadhead was a ‘disaster’, and that it would mean January reinforcements.

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Sunderland are now waiting on the scan results to fully determine the extent of the damage.

“It's a disaster,” Johnson said.

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“It's his hamstring, the other one.

“I don't know if I've run over a Black Cat or what.

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“From Jordan Willis, to Broadhead, Aiden McGeady, Luke O'Nien and everyone else in between, it's hard to take.

“We're going to need help in January for sure.

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“We're going to need to find a way of bringing in quality to help the boys.”

McAllister also confirmed on Thursday afternoon that there have been no further positive COVID-19 results since one player tested positive at the start of the week.