July 18, 2024

Sunderland: Imagine Sydney Van Hooijdonk & Clarke

The Black Cats have been linked with the Dutch centre-forward.

Sunderland’s Championship campaign starts against Ipswich Town, and they may be without forward Ross Stewart due to injury.

Sunderland is reportedly targeting Bologna’s Sydney van Hooijdonk as a potential striker signing, who showed promise during his loan spell at Heerenveen.

Van Hooijdonk’s goal-scoring abilities could complement Jack Clarke’s creativity, making them a potentially formidable duo for Sunderland.

The Championship campaign officially kicks off in just over two weeks and Sunderland still have time to make further additions to their squad.

Nottingham Forest 'tracking' Sydney van Hooijdonk transfer after prolific  season - Nottinghamshire Live

Who do Sunderland start their season against?

Tony Mowbray’s side start their season with a match against Ipswich Town at the Stadium of Light and are likely to be without centre-forward Ross Stewart.

The Scotland international is reportedly set to miss the clash through injury as he continues to recover from an Achilles issue.

This means that the head coach does not currently have a senior number nine to call upon ahead of the opening day, which is why he must dip into the market within the next two weeks to sign a striker.

One reported transfer target for the second-tier outfit in that position is Bologna centre-forward Sydney van Hooijdonk, who just spent the season on loan at Heerenveen.

Nottingham Forest 'tracking' Sydney van Hooijdonk transfer after prolific  season - Nottinghamshire Live

How good is Sydney van Hooijdonk?

The 23-year-old gem could be an excellent player for Sunderland as his form throughout the 2022/23 campaign suggests that he has the potential to be a reliable scorer for the club.

Mowbray could land winger Jack Clarke a dream partner on the pitch for the upcoming season as the former Tottenham Hotspur winger may end up with a striker who has the quality to make the most of the chances he creates.

Van Hooijdonk plundered 16 goals in 20 Eredivisie starts for Heerenveen, which came after the exciting dynamo found the back of the net six times in 13 Dutch top-flight outings during the first six months of his 18-month loan.

Meanwhile, No Sunderland player scored more than 14 Championship goals last season and only two players hit double figures.

This suggests that the Bologna prospect, who was once dubbed “prolific” by scout Jacek Kulig, could add a much-needed goal threat through the middle of the pitch for Mowbray.


He could, therefore, be perfect for Clarke as his ability to score goals on a regular basis, if it translates over from Dutch football, makes him a dream target for the former Leeds United prodigy.

The English wizard enjoyed a sublime run of form last term. The talented ace averaged a Sofascore rating of 7.00 across 45 Championship matches and contributed with an impressive number of goals and assists.

Only Stewart (10) and Amad Diallo (14), who has since returned to Manchester United following his loan spell on Wearside, scored more league goals for the club than Clarke (nine) did.

Creatively, the 22-year-old magician was outstanding for Sunderland.

He assisted a whopping 12 league goals for the Black Cats, which was five more than any other player, and produced 1.7 key passes per game – the most within the squad.

In fact, no player in the entire Championship assisted more goals than Clarke did last season, although Viktor Gyokeres also assisted 12 strikes for Coventry prior to his move to Sporting in Portugal.

Now, imagine the £17k-per-week hotshot consistently creating big opportunities for van Hooijdonk, who scored 35 goals in 41 U19 matches for NEC Breda during his youth career, to find the back of the net.

They could be a dream pairing who are able to strike fear into defenders next season, due to the potential link-up that they could have in the final third.

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