Sunderland are eyeing a move for Rotherham striker Jerry Yates, as reported by Football Insider.
Yates, who spent much of last season on loan at Swindon Town, is out of contract on July 1st and is seemingly on his way out of The New York Stadium. Rotherham were promoted after yesterday’s vote by the EFL clubs and are likely to allow him to leave for nothing.
That is sure to alert Swindon Town, who saw him form a great partnership with Eoin Doyle as they lifted the League Two title in the curtailed season, but it seems the Black Cats are also in the hunt for Yates. The 23-year-old has come through the ranks in South Yorkshire but has struggled to make an impact for his club, instead having loan spells with Carlisle, Swindon, Harrogate and Harrogate Railway Athletic in his short career.
However, after impressing for Swindon last season, he is now highly likely to be considering his options, especially with first-team chances limited with Paul Warne’s Championship side. He bagged 13 goals in 29 outings for the Robins as they sealed promotion, but is unlikely to feature in Rotherham’s starting XI next time out. That could leave Sunderland in pole position as they hunt a new striker.
The Black Cats have struggled to replace Josh Maja since he departed for Bordeaux, with none of Will Grigg, Charlie Wyke or Kyle Lafferty having scored more than six goals this season. With Grigg weighing in at £4m and Wyke at £1m, Stewart Donald has sanctioned spending and got no real tangible return. That could make Yates, available potentially for nothing, an attractive alternative.
Jerry Yates certainly proved he has what it takes to score regularly in League Two, but what of a step up to League One? Sunderland are a massive club and that brings a huge amount of pressure, under which the likes of Grigg and Wyke have wilted.
Would he be better remaining at Rotherham and looking for another loan? Potentially growing as a player but staying with a second-tier club? Or, would he be best served going back to Swindon Town, where he has settled well?