Who is Will Grigg - The Northern Ireland and Wigan striker on Sunderland's radar

Northern Ireland international Will Grigg has attracted interest from Sunderland.
Northern Ireland international Will Grigg has attracted interest from Sunderland.

Sunderland are set to make a move for Wigan striker Will Grigg - but just who is the 27-year-old forward?

We take a closer look at the striker whose fine form earned him his own song back in 2016, and what Black Cats supporters can expect from him if he signs.

What's his background?

Born in Solihull, England, Grigg qualifies to play for Northern Ireland through his grandfather.

The striker has been capped 13 times by the Green and White Army but has been on the fringes of the squad in the last few years.

Grigg earned his first professional contract with League One Walsall in the summer of 2008 and went on to play over 100 games for The Saddlers over a five-year spell.

Following a move to Brentford and a prolific season on loan at MK Dons, where he scored 20 league goals in 44 games to help the club win promotion from League One, Grigg was snapped up by Wigan on a three-year deal.

The following season was even better, with Grigg netting 25 league goals during the 2015/16 campaign as the Latics won promotion to the Championship.

His performances earned the striker a call-up to the Northern Ireland squad during Euro 2016, and despite not playing a single game for Michael O'Neill's side, the popular fan chat "Will Grigg's on fire" was repeatedly sung during the tournament in France.

Grigg also scored 19 league goals for Wigan last season as the Latics won promotion from the third tier for the second time in three years.

What sort of striker is he?

At 5 ft 11, Grigg would offer a different option compared to Charlie Wyke, who led the line in Sunderland's Checkatrade Trophy victory over Newcastle Under-21s.

But while the Northern Irishman doesn't offer the same aerial presence as Wyke, Grigg is far more effective when dropping short and linking-up play.

As shown by his goal against Manchester City in the FA Cup last season, Grigg is no slouch and is quick to capitalise on loose passes from opposing defenders.

He is also prolific from inside the penalty area with most of his goals coming from close range.

What are the chances of Sunderland signing him and why would Wigan sell?

Since Wigan's return to the Championship, Grigg has missed a chunk of the season with a hamstring injury, and has been rotated in and out of the side with former Sunderland striker James Vaughan and Joe Garner.

Yet the Northern Irishman has still featured in 16 league games this season, scoring four goals, and is far from a surplus to requirements at the DW Stadium.

For that reason a bid from Sunderland would have to be an ambitious one, as they would be asking the striker to step back down to the third tier.

Yet with the Black Cats fighting for promotion and the Latics languishing in the bottom half of the Championship, Grigg may feel it's the right time to move on.

What's been said about him?

Despite Grigg's limited game time on the international stage, Northern Ireland boss O'Neill is a fan of the forward.

"Will was unavailable to us because of an injury for a long time, then he had some personal issues and didn't want to be selected," said O'Neill after recalling Grigg to the national side back in August.

"I respected that and we kept a close eye on him, but I didn't bring him away in the summer because he had a long season and didn't need additional football.

"He's a player that hasn't quite made the breakthrough [at international level] but we know he is capable of doing that.

"Will has made a good start to the season with Wigan, he's a good boy and we love having him in the squad."