Goalscorer Daryl Murphy showed former club Sunderland exactly what they are missing

Sunderland manager Simon Grayson looks on during the Sky Bet Championship match between Sunderland and Derby County at Stadium of Light on August 4, 2017 in Sunderland, England.

Sunderland need a goalscorer and, at Championship level, Daryl Murphy is exactly that. They could not sign him in the summer and paid the price on Tuesday against Nottingham Forest.

Daryl Murphy of Sunderland celebrates scoring a goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Sunderland and Bolton Wanderers at the Stadium of Light on December 29, 2007 in...

It seems bizarre that, in 2017, Sunderland are missing a player like Daryl Murphy.

In the 2007-08 season, with the Black Cats back in the Premier League, forward Murphy scored three times in 28 appearances. A year later he failed to find the net once.

The forward then moved on, forever tainted in the eyes of Sunderland fans by a miserable run of form - so much so that many mocked his move to rivals Newcastle United last year.

Newcastle player Daryl Murphy celebrates after scoring the opening goal as Aleksandar Mitrovic (r)  lays injured during The Emirates FA Cup Third Round match between Birmingham City and...

And yet, on Tuesday night, Murphy proved Sunderland's undoing, netting a late winner at the Stadium of Light for Nottingham Forest - his fourth goal of the season.

Murphy has, without a doubt, improved in the last 10 years - he is also exactly what Simon Grayson's men need right now.

Sunderland were interested in the Republic of Ireland forward when he was leaving Newcastle this summer - according to the Sunderland Echo - but they could not get the deal done and he instead headed for Forest.

Daryl Murphy of Nottingham Forest scores his teams 2nd goal from the penalty spot during the Sky Bet Championship match between Nottingham Forest and Middlesbrough at City Ground on August...

The Wearside club failed to bring in any other strikers late in the transfer window, too, and must now rely on Lewis Grabban and James Vaughan until January; the former - the club's three-goal top-scorer - hobbled off on Tuesday to be replaced by the desperately out-of-form latter.

Murphy would have been the perfect man to bring off the bench in that situation and Sunderland's failure to fix a return could cost them on more than one occasion this season.

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