Kevin Phillips has predicted that new signing Kyle Lafferty can be a Sunderland legend if he helps them get promoted this season.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Black Cats hero emphasised how the Northern Irishman’s natural physicality and eye for goal are set to be big weapons in the Black Cat’s bid to get out of League One. 

Lafferty made his debut for the club with a 13 minute cameo in the 1-0 win over MK Dons at the weekend, having arrived on a short term deal at the start of last week.

But Phillips believes that the 32-year-old’s experience and proven record in front of goal could be a key tool once he is given a run in the starting XI. 

“I think it’s a good free signing,” the ex-England international told Football Insider. 

“Of course he’s experienced – I think certainly in League One it’ll be difficult but he’s built for that kind of tough league. It’s physical but he’s a big, strong, powerful lad.

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“He’s got an eye for goal and Sunderland haven’t scored that many goals this season – I was there at the weekend [against Wycombe Wanderers on January 11th] and watched them score four, but I thought they were excellent. 

“Anyone going in there now who could potentially help them secure a play-off spot or automatic promotion – if he can go in and score the goals to get them there he’ll make himself a club legend straight away. 

“For a free signing, with his experience, I think it’s invaluable.”

Lafferty has 106 goals in 445 career appearances at club level, as well as 20 in 75 caps for Northern Ireland. 

His most recent spell in British football came with Rangers last season, but he spent the first half of this term with Norwegian side Sarpsborg 08, where he managed one goal and two assists in nine appearances. 

In other Sunderland news, it can be REVEALED that the club have been ambushed by an SPL club in their efforts to land another new hitman.