Phil Parkinson reveals his top Sunderland transfer target for January

Phil Parkinson is targeting a powerful and pacy striker in January – having been handed a boost with Luke O’Nien set to trigger a contract extension.

Saturday, 23rd November 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Saturday, 23rd November 2019, 6:00 am
Sunderland manager Phil Parkinson

O’Nien initially penned a two-year deal when he arrived at the Stadium of Light from Wycombe Wanderers, but Parkinson has now revealed that there is a one-year extension clause in the contract – with the Sunderland chief delighted to have the opportunity to build the side around a ‘top class’ player.

“There is an option in Luke’s contract in the favour of the club,” said Parkinson.

“The club can activate that option.

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“I think he’s top class,” he continued.

“As I’ve said, when you’ve had a few bad results it’s easy to get down - but I’m telling you now we’ve got a core of really good players and lads who care about the club.

“They’re hurting, like me, after getting beat but they’re ready for action.”

And with Parkinson now having overseen nine games in the dugout on Wearside, he believes he has a clear picture of what is needed in January.

Indeed, the Sunderland boss is monitoring targets ahead of the window, with his main target a striker with pace and power.

“I think it’s just adding to what we’ve got,” said Parkinson on potential incomings.

“Everybody has been speaking about - and it’s right and I’ve said it myself - that we need a bit of pace, a bit of power at the top of the pitch.

“We’ve got to make sure opposition defenders find it difficult to play against our front players.

“We know what we want to aim for. We’re monitoring the players we’re looking at, but equally I don’t want to make too much of a big thing about that [January] at the moment.

“I want to get more out the players we’ve got and that starts in the treatment room, getting them out on the pitch and improving what we’ve got.”

"All I can say is that I’m very clear in my mind about what we need to do.

“WIthout banging the drum, I’ve been promoted before and I know what it takes to be at the top of this league.”