Utrecht striker Sebastien Haller has been superb this year.
Pinpointing specific weaknesses with the Black Cats squad is rather futile, such are the problems within the Sunderland ranks and the number of areas they definitely need to strengthen in January.
In a nutshell, they’re too open at the back, lack creativity and bite in midfield and don’t score many goals.
However, one area they must strengthen is up front, preferably with a player who fits the mould of an Allardyce team – capable of winning his aerial duels, linking with the midfield and providing a threat from set-pieces.
Finding such a figure in England could prove costly. Derby County’s Chris Martin has been mentioned, for instance, but why would the Rams sell him for anything less than an eight-figure fee?
Sunderland may need to look on the continent in order to get value for money, and one player who really stands out is Utrecht striker Sebastien Haller.
Despite being just 21, the 6ft 2inch striker is a renowned scorer, with 19 goals in 28 Dutch top-flight matches since the turn of the year. This season alone he has eight in 11 games.
But what makes Haller a potential problem-solver for Allardyce is his style of play and the attributes he possesses. Aside from his goals, Haller averages a whopping 6.2 aerial duels won per match.
He is phenomenal in the air, a real threat at set-pieces, and his link-up play isn’t too shabby either.
Haller lacks Premier League experience, granted, but so did Anthony Martial before arriving at Manchester United and any gamble may be worth taking now, considering the club’s precarious position.
With six goals in 11 games for the French U21 side, Haller has pedigree and unless Sunderland bring in a focal striker capable of getting the best out of Jermain Defoe, Jeremain Lens and Adam Johnson, then they will most certainly suffer relegation come next May.