Sunderland, unless they can muster up a minor miracle, look set on dropping down to the Championship, as they currently place second-from-bottom in the top-flight with just one win to their name.
Allardyce is a master at keeping teams up, but even this challenge is currently looking beyond him unless the Black Cats can do some pretty shrewd transfer business in January.
One of the biggest problems the former Bolton boss has at the Stadium of Light is an unbalanced squad with very little in terms of an attacking threat.
Seb Larsson, Adam Johnson, Jeremain Lens, Ola Toivonen and Jermain Defoe aren’t bad players at all, but piecing them together is a tough ask – Sunderland need the ball to stick in the final third.
Allardyce plays a direct style, yet Steven Fletcher isn’t really the man to bring others into play as he doesn’t drop deep enough. Martin, on the other hand, is the perfect pivot for attacking players.
|Competition||Goals||Assist||Shots per Game||Key Passes per Game||Aerial Duels Won per Game||Touches per Game||Accurate Passes per Game||Ball Recoveries per Game||Appearances|
|Steven Fletcher||Premier League||4||0||1.55||0.36||4.55||27.09||9.91||1.36||11|
As per the table provided by Opta Stats, the Rams’ favourite is shown to be more than just a goal scorer but also a creative player capable of dropping deep and linking up with his teammates.
Aside from averaging more goals, assists and shots than Fletcher, Martin takes considerably more touches, makes more passes and averages more chances created per league encounter.
Now while the Championship and the Premier League are, of course, entirely different levels in terms of quality, Martin still possesses ideal attributes to succeed in the top-flight due to his style of play.
Sunderland need a way of getting their attacking players more involved – and who better than Martin, whose entire game and playing style is built around that exact feature?
He wouldn’t come cheap, but any potential outlay on the Derby man would be worth it as even if relegation occurs, Sunderland would possess the ideal player to help them make a quick return.