Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughCan Jozy Altidore solve Sunderland’s scoring problems? - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Can Jozy Altidore solve Sunderland’s scoring problems? - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Can Jozy Altidore solve Sunderland’s scoring problems?

To call Sunderland toothless last season would be almost generous given that they scored just 41 goals in their 38 games – only QPR and Stoke scored less. So with that in mind Paolo Di Canio has been quick to add more firepower to his shot shy side in the form of American Jozy Altidore, a player who you will remember from a rather unsuccessful loan at Hull spell in 2009.

A tally of just one goal during that spell is hardly the stuff to inspire Sunderland fans that their reported £6 million investment will be the solution to their problems, however too much emphasis should not be placed on that season. Back then Altidore was a very raw teenage talent struggling to live up to the hype, these days there is enough evidence to suggest that he should find more success this term.

Two years with Dutch side AZ Alkmaar have proved the perfect tonic for Altidore to get his development back on the right track. Here he has been guaranteed first team football and had a genuine home – rather than constant loaning out he experienced during his time at Villareal. Prior to his Dutch move it was being suggested that Altidore was looking unlikely to fulfil his promise, that view though was halted by a satisfactory return of 15 league goals in his debut year with AZ. Last year though was where he really found his feet, contributing 23 goals in just 33 games – the fourth highest tally in the division. His domestic form has also been transferred to the international game with Altidore scoring four goals in eight appearances in 2013 and in the process transforming himself from a figure of frustration back home to one The USA’s most vital players.

Goals in Holland of course don’t always transfer well to England and those who are a little cautious about this move are probably entitled to be given the number of failed strikers who have made the move from Holland, combined with Altidore’s past record. That said his pace, power and strength means that he certainly has the tools to succeed at a Premiership level, with the only doubt being whether his finishing has truly improved enough to provide consistent goals – something which his returns in Holland would suggest he has done.

Undoubtedly he will never be the most clinical striker around but he is a player who offers so much more than that and providing he can at least contribute a solid return in regards to goals the transfer fee paid could prove a real steal. After all in Steven Fletcher Sunderland already have one of the league’s most clinical strikers and the hope will be that Altidore by causing defenders problems can create the space for the Scotsmen to take advantage.

At first glance this is a move that will have raised eyebrows, however a little closer inspection suggests the signing of Altidore could actually turn out to be a significant success. Sunderland will certainly be keeping their fingers crossed, particularly given that they look destined to lose the inspirational Stephen Sessegnon – which will only further hurt their lack of threat.