Sunderland were linked with Derby striker Chris Martin in 2015; would make a smart signing now

Derby County's Chris Martin looks dejected

Sunderland should make a move for Derby County striker Chris Martin, who was previously linked with a move to the club in 2015.

Derby County's Chris Martin looks dejected

Sunderland were linked with a move for Derby County striker Chris Martin back in 2015, back when the club was in the Premier League (Sunderland Echo).

The Black Cats were in desperate need of reinforcements for their forward line as the club found themselves in the midst of a relegation battle. Scotland international Martin was touted for a move to the Stadium of Light but a move never materialised.

With the club now in the Championship, they are in desperate need of a forward with a proven goals record to lead their front line.

Sunderland are currently without a manager and the summer departures of Jermain Defoe and Victor Anichebe has left the club without a recognised centre-forward on the books.

The potential signing of Martin would provide a player that has over 250 Championship games under his belt. With 80 goals at this level to his name, the 28-year-old has a respectable goal haul.

As well as providing goals, his ability to provide assists for his team mates has made him considered such a valuable asset at Championship level. This is just what Sunderland require in their first season back in England's second tier in over a decade.

Scotland's Chris Martin celebrates scoring their first goalChris Martin has 13 Scotland caps

After spending last season on loan with Fulham, in what turned out to be a controversial spell, Martin is now back at Derby. Despite only signing a three-and-a-half year deal in January, his immediate future still remains up for debate.

His new deal was signed whilst Steve McClaren was Rams manager, but Martin has returned to the club with Gary Rowett now the man in charge at the helm.

There is no harm in Sunderland testing the waters by making a bid for Martin and if it proves to be successful, it could potentially be the best piece of business the club has done in recent years.

Derby County's Chris Martin shoots

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