Football League World
·14 July 2023
Football League World
·14 July 2023
The day came this past week that Coventry City fans didn't want to happen but they all knew it was inevitable - Viktor Gyokeres has well and truly left the building.
Sky Blues supporters probably cannot believe the player that the Swede has become just two years after a loan stint which saw him score just three times in 19 appearances, but the ability was always there - he just had to channel it.
97 matches, 40 goals and 17 assists later and Gyokeres has earned Coventry their club record fee with a £20 million sale completed to Sporting CP of Portugal, guaranteeing the 24-year-old European football in the UEFA Europa League.
Coventry have been very shrewd in the transfer market in recent years though and it appears that they have already got his direct replacement through the door before he even left in the form of Ellis Simms, who has arrived for an initial £3.5 milliom from Everton in a deal that could eventually reach £8 million.
Having scored seven goals in 17 Championship appearances for Sunderland last season, Simms is a promising addition and in a similar mould to Gyokeres, but more is needed considering manager Mark Robins more often than not plays with two strikers and he has just Simms and Matty Godden - who has been linked with a move away - on the books.
Cov now have the cash to be big players in the transfer market if Doug King really wants to re-invest, and the player they should go all out for is Sam Surridge of Nottingham Forest.
After coming through the AFC Bournemouth academy, Surridge had several loan spells away from the Vitality Stadium as well as playing 42 times for the Cherries before being sold to Stoke in 2021 for £2.5 million, but the Potters then turned over a £300,000 loss nearly six months later when selling him to Nottingham Forest.
Surridge has been at the City Ground since January 2022 and he had an immediate impact as his seven goals in 20 league matches helped the Tricky Trees win promotion to the Premier League.
Following their transfer splurge last summer though, Forest were expected to get rid of Surridge in some capacity, but he remained at the club for the whole season and played 27 times in all competitions, scoring three goals.
It is now expected though that following Steve Cooper's job to keep them in the Premier League that Forest will now let Surridge depart this summer with one year remaining on his contract.
Firstly, Coventry have nowhere near enough depth right now in attack to play a two striker system - Robins sometimes opts for a 3-4-2-1 with two supporting attacking midfielders but his preferred formation deploys two centre-forwards together.
In terms of stature though, Surridge is somewhat similar to Gyokeres in the sense that he stands at 6 ft 3 in - an inch taller than the Swede - but he doesn't exactly possess the raw explosiveness of Coventry's record departure.
He does clearly however have an eye for goal, as showed in the run-in during the 2021-22 season for Forest and he's a very physical central striker as well with his height and strength meaning he is a good aerial threat.
Some of his goals for Forest though in particular have showed that he has enough awareness and pace about him though to play off the last man and be ruthless when one-on-one with a goalkeeper - Simms also possesses a lot of these traits but there is no reason why they shouldn't be able to play together.
With one year left on his contract, Surridge should be very much affordable for Coventry with the money they now have, although they'd need to fend off reported interest from the likes of Leeds United and clubs in the MLS in the United States.