Sunderland’s mini-revival under Sam Allardyce was dealt a blow in the 3-1 defeat to Arsenal on Saturday, but there remains plenty of hope and optimism on Wearside.
The Black Cats also had to sit and watch both Bournemouth and Newcastle pick up three points apiece, to leave Sunderland 19th in the table despite improved results under their new boss.
Allardyce has guided his side to impressive victories over Crystal Palace and Watford, keeping clean sheets in both, but the performance at the Emirates on Saturday will have been a wake-up call for the former West Ham boss.
Only the aforementioned Cherries and Magpies have conceded more than Sunderland’s 29 goals this term, and Big Sam looks set to make a move for one of his former east London colleagues.
James Tomkins has been a regular under Slaven Bilic this season, but mainly as a right back having found himself third-choice in his preferred central position.
It’s believed the Hammers would be willing to listen to offers around £10m, but it remains to be seen how well Allardyce will be backed in next month’s transfer window.
The former Bolton manager has hinted that he may be focusing on loan deals in January, leaving a potential permanent move for Tomkins until the summer, instead opening up a swoop for the 26-year-old’s current Upton Park comrade James Collins.
The 32-year-old hasn’t found favour under Bilic this season, and with Wales having qualified for Euro 2016 next summer, the former Aston Villa man will be keen to maintain first team football at the highest level possible.
Sunderland are 9/4 to stay up this season, and Allardyce has already made his impact felt with the Black Cats 7/1 to avoid the drop in September.
Should Allardyce be allowed to bring in the reinforcements he believes will do the job, that 9/4 price will only shorten further in the early weeks of 2016.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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