No Nolan for Sunderland, but another former Hammer could arrive

In a shocking turn of events at Sunderland, Sam Allardyce has seemingly ruled out bringing in Kevin Nolan to work with the midfielder for a third time in their careers.

Although many would have had it nailed on that the partnership, previously seen at Bolton and West Ham, would be rekindled in the north east due to Nolan’s status as a free agent, the Independent believe Allardyce will resist the urge to call on his former captain.

Sunderland only have one squad spot left available for Premier League games until the January transfer window opens and the club free up more through sales.

Until then, Allardyce has insisted that if any new player arrives it will have to be a striker, which is a sensible strategy considering Danny Graham was called on from the bench in the recent defeat to West Brom.

Only free-agents will be able to sign for Sunderland until the new year, so here’s two that may tempt the new Black Cats manager into making an offer:

Carlton Cole

If the pang for familiarity still lingers for Big Sam without Nolan’s presence, then another former charge of his may be the next port of call.

Cole has been linked with a number of clubs since being released from West Ham in the summer, most recently training with Ladbrokes Premiership outfit Celtic.

His scoring record isn’t the best, but he’s worked with Allardyce before and knows his system. So, he’s got that going for him.

James McFadden

The former Everton man was released by St Johnstone at the start of this season and is yet to find another club.

It has been some since years since the Scott was a top-flight regular, but there is little doubt that McFadden would bring the kind of fighting endeavour you need in a relegation fight.

McFadden is, it’s easy to forget, a former Black Cat. He made just three league appearances for the club after being picked up a free agent in October of 2012 and could well answer the call again if required.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.