The 2018/19 season feels like a real missed opportunity for Sunderland.
Not only did they lose to Portsmouth in the Checkatrade Trophy final, Lee Cattermole’s poor spot-kick costing them in the penalty shoot out, they also missed out on promotion after conceding a 94th minute winner against Charlton Athletic at Wembley. Whoever said the Black Cats were lucky?
And it’s tempting to wonder how difficult things might have been if Sunderland had not controversially sold top scorer Josh Maja to Bordeaux in January.
Would Jack Ross’ side be preparing for a return to the Championship, two months after winning their first cup competition since 1973?
And, to make matters worse, Sunderland might have already missed out on Maja’s perfect replacement, a natural-born goalscorer who looked every inch like the club’s missing link.
Macauley Bonne might be yet to prove himself in the Football League but his performances outside of the top four divisions at Leyton Orient was nothing short of remarkable. Bonne netted 24 goals in 2018/19, firing the Orient into League Two. His record at Brisbane Road was one-in-two.
TalkSPORT claimed recently that Sunderland wanted to bring Bonne to Wearside but, in a major blow to their promotion prospects, he has signed for Charlton – Ross’ Wembley dream-crushers.
It remains to be seen whether Sunderland can sign another striker with a similarly impressive record in front of goal.
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