By Kevin Phillips

31st Jan, 2020 | 8:06pm

Exclusive: Kevin Phillips reacts after Sunderland offer senior star in part-exchange deal

Kevin Phillips thought Will Grigg was going “tear up” League One when he first arrived at Sunderland but concedes the striker needs to leave in search of form. 

The European Golden Shoe winner, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, says he would not be surprised if the 28-year-old left the Stadium of Light before the transfer window shuts.

Football Insider revealed that the Black Cats had offered up the Northern Ireland international in part-exchange to sign Oliver Norburn from Shrewsbury.

A host of clubs from the Football League have reportedly expressed an interest in Grigg but reports that the player has flown with the squad to Portsmouth suggest his exit is now highly unlikely.

When asked whether the forward’s future was at the Stadium of Light, Phillips told Football Insider: “I am surprised. Like Aidan McGeady, he has found it very difficult to settle on Wearside. I thought it was a good signing at first and I thought he would tear that league up.

“I cannot speak for Phil but he has got Lafferty now and Wyke who is performing and scoring now. It might be the best thing for the player now to go out on loan for the rest of the season and try and find his form again. Try and fall back in love with football.” 

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The former Wigan Athletic striker has struggled this season, scoring only once in 19 league appearances for the Black Cats, Phil Parkinson favouring the in-form Charlie Wyke and new signing Kyle Lafferty.

Grigg arrived on Wearside in a £3million deal on deadline day last January but has so far failed to regain the form saw him crowned League One’s top scorer following the 2015/16 season.

In other Sunderland news, the Black Cats are pole position to land Man United midfielder.