Could this Switzerland striker be heading to Sunderland?

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Sunderland survived relegation from the Premier League last season thanks largely to the goals of Jermain Defoe. But while the experienced Englishman didn’t make it to France this summer, rumour has it Sam Allardyce has identified his perfect strike partner in current Switzerland forward Eren Derdiyok.

The imposing forward impressed for club side Kasimpasa in the Turkish top-flight last season, scoring 13 times and chipping in with five assists, to help the Istanbul side to an unlikely top-seven finish.

And Derdiyok has been a consistently good performer for Switzerland, netting twice for the national side since the start of October, and capable of devastating displays – such as his hat-trick for Schweizer pati against Germany back in 2012.

However, the 28-year-old’s strength and distribution make him more valuable to the Swiss squad than as just a goalscorer. And with Defoe having struggled for service in the Black Cats’ frontline last season, pairing him with the muscular Derdiyok – if it happens – could be a stroke of genius from Big Sam.

If the Wearside outfit are to bid for the former Bayer Leverkusen striker, now would be the ideal opportunity for their bargain-seeking boss to do so.

With Derdiyok’s contract expiring in 12 months time, and Transfermarkt.co.uk estimating his price at £3.45m, the Black Cats gaffer may swoop before the Basel native signs a new Kasimpasa contract, or a run of impressive displays in France boosts his price tag.

Switzerland are in action this evening, with Vladimir Petkovic’s side 31/20 to beat Romania, with victory for the Tricolorii 23/10 and the draw on at 21/10.

Derdiyok is no stranger to goals on the big stage, and he’s the 6/1 second-favourite to net first in this one, with 14s for the highly-rated hitman to score twice or more.

That sort of impact could have Allardyce scrambling to find the calling code for Turkey.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing

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Dave Burin

Dave graduated with an MA in English Literature at Durham University, and worked in marketing before joining the Ladbrokes News team. A Man United fan and avid groundhopper, he’s also an ardent follower of Rugby League. You can usually find him at a ground near you, clutching a big cup of tea.