Why Derby County’s Chris Martin Would Massively Improve Sunderland
After losing out on Jonathan Walters and Ben Woodburn, Sunderland are trying to complete a deal for Derby County man Chris Martin, but could he do a job on the Wearside?
Firstly, there is the simple matter of replacing personnel in the first-team squad. Top scorer Lewis Grabban, who was on loan from Bournemouth, has been recalled by the Cherries, leaving a gaping hole in the team which needs to be filled imminently.
Manager Chris Coleman is clearly not content with the players he has at his disposal currently, whereas Martin represents a touch of quality in the context of this division and should, at the very least, replace a large percentage of the talent lost. Coleman reportedly spoke to the decision makers at Derby in an attempt to sign the £4m-rated Martin in time for Sunderland’s weekend’s game against Hull City, which never materialised.
Considering the disappointments of Woodburn and Walters’ deals collapsing on him, the former Wales boss is taking very little for granted during this transfer window, despite the fact that Derby have signed Cameron Jerome, with manager Gary Rowett confirming that Martin can leave this month. Martin has made 23 appearances for the Rams this term, although 18 of those have been from the bench. At his age, it would seem unfair to keep him as a squad player.
Proven at this level, Martin has scored over 100 goals in his career at Norwich City, Crystal Palace, Swindon Town and Derby. He was on loan at Fulham last term, scoring 10 times in 27 starts in the Championship, as his temporary side qualified for the playoffs.
Given Derby’s newly found attacking options, both Martin and Darren Bent are highly likely to leave before the end of the month and this could largely benefit Sunderland, given the position that they are in. For his part, Martin is thought to be willing to move to the North East in an attempt to reinvigorate his career, which has slightly stalled this term, with David Nugent moving ahead of him in the pecking order at the Pride Park stadium.
So far, only Sunderland have expressed a firm interest as far as Championship teams are concerned and so they may well get their man. For his hold-up play alone, Martin would very well improve Sunderland from their current predicament. So I’d say it’s a wise signing, although whether he can help them escape the drop is another matter entirely.