Middlesbrough striker Ashley Fletcher had an unsuccessful spell on Wearside with Sunderland in the Championship last season.
The 22-year-old returned to Teesside in hope of featuring in Tony Pulis' Championship side this term, but is yet to start a game in the second tier.
Fletcher is low down in the Middlesbrough striker pecking order, behind the in-form duo of Martin Braithwaite and Britt Assombalonga and the Black Cats would be wise to consider a second loan spell for their former player in January.
Jack Ross' Sunderland are currently relying on 19-year-old Josh Maja to lead the line and despite their talisman having been excellent this season, the Black Cats need cover in that area.
The former St Mirren manager may be forced to explore the January window for a forward, especially after summer arrival Charlie Wyke sustained an injury that would keep him out for the foreseeable future.
And Fletcher could be the perfect man to fill that void, especially given his form shown this season in the Carabao Cup against opposition of a similar level to Sunderland's competitors this term.
The Keighley-born player has scored three goals in the League Cup for the Boro so far this season, one of which came in a recent outing against Preston North End.
And despite an unsuccessful period with Sunderland, a move back to Wearside could suit both player and club, with Fletcher also looking to kick-start his career with a run of games in which he can showcase his skills.
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