Sunderland has proved quite the destination for some former SPFL players and the manager. They might be joined by another shortly: Hibs’ number nine from last season, Marc McNulty, as The Sunderland Echo believe that a deal will be concluded shortly.

A lot of Sunderland’s squad has played in Scotland

Jack Ross’ Black Cats boast a number of players that previously plied their trade in Scotland.

Former Hearts goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin is in between the sticks. Central defence pairing Glenn Loovens and Alim Ozturk played for Celtic and Hearts respectively, along with former Hearts loanee Jimmy Dunne who returned to Burnley this summer.

Jimmy Dunne spent the first half of the season at the Jambos before moving to Wearside. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

In midfield, Chris Maguire, Dylan McGeouch and Aidan McGeady all had time up in Scotland. Jack Ross even reunited himself with Lewis Morgan on loan from Celtic last season, the duo having worked wonders together at St Mirren.

Pipped to promotion

Having failed to win promotion from England’s third tier following their play-off final loss to Charlton Athletic, a rebuild was required. And McNulty signing should hopefully prove a great bit of business. Prior to his Scotland call-up, he was netting a few for the Hibees.

Former Sunderland starlet Josh Maja signed a four-and-a-half year deal with the French Ligue 1 side. (Photo by NICOLAS TUCAT / AFP) (Photo credit should read NICOLAS TUCAT/AFP/Getty Images)

Ultimately, last season, the Black Cats didn’t recover from losing Josh Maja to Bordeaux in January. After the 20-year-old’s departure, nobody else proved to be their talisman. Maja was Sunderland’s top scorer last season even despite leaving for France midway through the campaign.

 

How many teams are successful without a free-scoring forward?

McNulty faces competition for striker slot at Sunderland

The signing of Charlie Wyke didn’t prove successful with the former Bradford man netting just four league goals last season. Perhaps, the most disappointing Sunderland signing last season, you can’t blame Jack Ross for going back to what he knows best.

Can Will Grigg be on fire again with ‘Sparky’ McNulty up front? (Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images)

Will Grigg arrived in January and netted as many as Wyke. The £4 million man will provide McNulty with some serious competition but both are prolific when it comes to playing in the EFL.

It could have the makings of a formidable partnership. Not quite Phillips and Quinn but should Sunderland clinch promotion, as many expected them to last season, they need goals which McNulty can provide.

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