“It was an unbelievable game from Graham against Southampton with the way he worked and how dangerous he was,” the Dutch coach admitted. “In training he’s the best goalscorer, but in the games, he’s not. So I think that has to change! He did not score, but he did a great job for the team.”
Since his £5 million move to Wearside in January 2013, Graham has yet to score for Sunderland, although he has found the back of the net on two separate loan spells away from the club.
He scored six times for Middlesbrough in the Championship last season, as well as registering one Premier League goal for Hull, but he has looked a player far removed from the one that consistently scored for Swansea during their formative years in the top flight.
However, he does put in good performances as an attacker, just without the goals needed to truly elevate him to Premier League level. The former Watford man works very well in Advocaat’s new 4-3-3 system as one of the wide forwards who drops deep to help in the midfield, and he could be the player to benefit most from the Dutch coach’s influence.
Yet, Advocaat still wants him to hit the back of the net, and if he can take his goalscoring in training onto the field of play, there is no denying that Graham has all the quality needed to succeed at Premier League level.