Sunderland’s attempts to bring a new striker to the Stadium of Light have so far proved frustrating and fruitless.
They were linked with Lyle Taylor and Gavin Reilly but the prolific duo instead signed contracts with League One rivals Charlton Athletic and Bristol Rovers respectively, despite the latter having worked with new Black Cats boss Jack Ross at St Mirren last season.
And Florian Kamberi is another who slipped through their grasp. The Sunderland Echo reported that Sunderland were prepared to pay a seven-figure fee for the Swiss forward, only for Hibernian to trigger the £100,000 option to sign last season’s Easter Road loan star on a permanent basis.
“(Sunderland) didn’t interest me because it was League One. Even if it’s a big club I don’t want to play in a small league,” Kamberi would then say in quotes reported by the Daily Record (live blog, 8.46am).
“I want to play in the first league and I had a chance to do that here with Hibs, so it was clear that Sunderland wasn't an option.”
And Kamberi hasn’t waited long to show Sunderland what they’re missing. In his first game as a permanent Hibernian player, the 23-year-old scored a clinical hat-trick as the Edinburgh side thrashed NSI Runavik 6-1 in the first leg of their Europa League play-off on Thursday.
To make matters worse, Ross’ former St Mirren starlet Stevie Mallan (below), who was also linked with Sunderland via The Sun, scored two himself in his first game after arriving from Barnsley.
Kamberi now has 12 goals in 15 games for Hibs.