Tony Mowbray makes honest Ross Stewart claim following move from Sunderland to Southampton

The Black Cats faced a real battle to keep hold of the forward in the summer despite the fact he spent much of the season sidelined with injury problems.

When he was available, he was electric with the Scotsman having no problems adapting from League One to the Championship, scoring 11 goals in 15 competitive appearances and registering three assists in the process.

That’s an exceptional record and the Saints will be hoping he can score at a similar rate when he makes his return, with the striker likely to be crucial in Russell Martin’s side’s quest to get back to the Premier League at the first time of asking.

He ended up at St Mary’s after Martin’s side made an offer that was too good to turn down during the latter stages of the summer window – and the fact he had less than a year left on his contract at the Stadium of Light at the time strengthened the relegated side’s negotiating position.

What does Sunderland’s forward department look like now?


Sunderland boss Tony Mowbray sends Ross Stewart contract demand after  legend claim - Mirror Online

Regardless of whether Stewart left in the summer or not, it was clear that the Black Cats needed to strengthen this department considerably, with Ellis Simms returning to Everton in January and Joe Gelhardt heading back to Leeds United in the summer following the expiration of their loan spells.

Thankfully for Mowbray, he was able to bring some strikers in with Luis Hemir and Eliezer Mayenda joining the club before the season started.

And on deadline day, Nazariy Rysyn and Mason Burstow joined, with the latter arriving from Chelsea on loan.

Not only did they bring strikers in – but they also added some attacking midfielders to their squad including Jobe Bellingham and Bradley Dack – with the duo potentially helping to replace the firepower they lost when Amad Diallo returned to Manchester United.

Tony Mowbray’s admission on Ross Stewart

Considering how much of a prolific goalscorer Stewart was at the Stadium of Light during 2021/22 and 2022/23 when fit, many would think Mowbray would miss him badly.

But because he wasn’t available for much of last season, the Black Cats’ boss isn’t missing him too much.

The Wearside outfit’s manager said: “Ross Stewart only played seven games for me so I can’t sit here and say he was unbelievable, I only saw him play seven times, so it’s not as if I miss him loads because I never had him.”

Is Tony Mowbray right about Ross Stewart?

You can see where Mowbray is coming from.

Selling Stewart would have been a bigger deal for the Black Cats’ boss if he had him at his disposal for much of last season – but he didn’t and that’s why Mowbray may have been happy to sanction this sale.

If given the opportunity to keep him, the Black Cats’ manager may have taken it because Stewart has proven that he can score regularly at this level.

However, the risk of losing him for free next summer was too big and they needed to generate a fee for him whilst they could.

The Wearside outfit will probably miss Stewart a bit considering how much of an asset he was – but they have a decent number of forward options that should help to compensate for his departure.

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