Opinion: West Brom summer signing could give Middlesbrough and Sunderland confidence in pursuit of 29-year-old | OneFootball

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Football League World

·28 September 2022

Opinion: West Brom summer signing could give Middlesbrough and Sunderland confidence in pursuit of 29-year-old

Article image:Opinion: West Brom summer signing could give Middlesbrough and Sunderland confidence in pursuit of 29-year-old

It is perhaps no surprise that Northampton Town striker Sam Hoskins is already starting to attract interest from elsewhere ahead of the January transfer window.

Having scored 11 goals in just ten league games so far this season to help his side to second in the current League Two table, and with plenty of clubs likely to once again need attacking reinforcements, the 29-year-old should certainly be an appealing target for many.

What is perhaps more surprising however, is the identity of some of those clubs that are starting to take an interest in the forward.

As exclusively revealed by Football League World, Championship duo Middlesbrough and Sunderland are among a number of clubs who are already starting to take an interest in Hoskins.

That is a move that could arguably seem risky for one of these two sides, given both look to be in need of some extra firepower upfront, and relying on a player who would be stepping up not one but two divisions, may not be a guarantee of success.

However, it could also be argued, that these two sides do not have to look far back in history, to see an example of a move that may give them some belief that a deal for the Northampton forward is one that is worth pursuing.

On the final day of this summer’s transfer window, West Brom, while in desperate need of some attacking back-up for Karlan Grant amid Daryl Dike’s ongoing injury struggles, completed the signing of Brandon Thomas-Asante from another League Two side, in the form of Salford City.

Like Hoskins is now, that move came at a time when Thomas-Asante was in excellent form in the fourth-tier, having scored four goals and provided two assists in six league games for the Ammies at the start of this campaign.

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Article image:Opinion: West Brom summer signing could give Middlesbrough and Sunderland confidence in pursuit of 29-year-old

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But despite that, there had still been some questions about whether the striker would cope with the step up of that move to the Championship with the Baggies, especially at an early stage in his career at 23-years-old, and with the weight of expectation there is at West Brom, something that will also be found at clubs the size of ‘Boro and Sunderland.

So far though, Thomas-Asante has stepped up to the challenge of the Championship, in impressive style.

Having been brought on for his debut with 20 minutes remaining and his new side trailing 1-0 to Burnley at the start of September, the 23-year-old showed a clinical instinct that feels much needed at West Brom, to put himself in the right place at the right time to fire home a stoppage time equaliser that earned a point for the Baggies.

The game then saw Thomas-Asante introduced on the hour-mark against local rivals Birmingham, again with West Brom trailing, this time 2-1, and although he couldn’t prevent an eventual 3-2 defeat, he was able to win and then score a penalty in that match, to once again enhance his burgeoning reputation in the Championship.

Given Thomas-Asante has been able to make that impact after likely arriving brimming with confidence from his exploits in League Two, just as Hoskins ought to be right now after the way he has started the season for season, means there may be a belief that he too could make a similarly swift impact in the Championship.

Indeed, at 29-years-old, Hoskins is also six years older than Thomas-Asante, and that extra experience he has of football’s range of challenges, could also put him in a decent position to cope with the demands of such a move.

So while there may be an argument that the likes of Middlesbrough and Sunderland would be taking a chance with a move for Hoskins, evidence elsewhere suggests it is one that may be worth taking.

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