A claim has emerged on Sunderland and one of their failed pursuits of a new striker to add to their squad during the January transfer window…
What’s the talk?
Hamburg centre-forward Andras Nemeth has confirmed that he rejected the chance to make the move to the Stadium of Light in favour of plying his trade in the second tier of German football – joining his current club for a fee in the region of €750k (£669k) from Genk.
Did Sunderland need another striker in January?
Speaking to HSV24, the youngster said: “With Sunderland it was very concrete. But I made the decision to come to Hamburg because I think the project here is better for me and my development.”
The Sunderland Echo claimed that the forward was a ‘key target’ for the club as the gem had been identified as a ‘future star’ after extensive scouting in the build-up to the window, but Kristjaan Speakman was unable to convince him to sign for Tony Mowbray’s side after talks.
Speakman endured a howler with this failed swoop for the Hungary international as the Black Cats chief seemingly did not do enough to tempt the attacker into rejecting Hamburg.
Nemeth’s comments suggest that the German side mapped out a better long-term vision for his development as a player with that an indication Sunderland did not do enough to convince him that moving to Wearside was the best move for his growth.
Therefore, the club’s sporting director could potentially have done a better job of selling the prospect of playing for Mowbray’s side in the years to come.
Their error in doing so has only been exacerbated because of the events that have played out since the turn of the year. Indeed, Joe Gelhardt, who joined on loan from Leeds last month, is the only senior striker option heading into the second half of the season.
Ross Stewart has been ruled out of the remainder of the Championship campaign and Ellis Simms was recalled by parent club Everton, to help with their battle against relegation from the Premier League, at the start of January.
Gelhardt has played less than 100 matches in his senior career and the Mackems are asking a lot of the talented youngster to be Mowbray’s only number nine between now and May.
Bringing in another talented youngster, particularly one such as Nemeth, could have eased the burden on the Leeds loanee by adding to the club’s options in the final third.
The 20-year-old Hamburg striker, who talent scout Jacek Kulig once hailed as “complete“, has already scored his first goal in the second division in Germany, despite playing 12 minutes of football, after scoring three goals and providing one assist in four starts in the Pro League for Genk since the start of last season.
Nemeth, who has scored once in his solitary appearance for Hungary at senior level, is a promising young marksman who has shown that he has the potential – after also finding the back of the net eight times in 11 matches for his country at U21 level – to be a reliable goalscorer as his development continues.
Therefore, Sunderland may live to regret their failure to sign the talented gem, in the immediate future and the long term, with Speakman now potentially left to ponder what else he could have done to convince the 20-year-old.