By Kevin Phillips

26th Jul, 2021 | 8:30pm

Johnson told to complete striker signing as six Sunderland deals on the cards - Phillips

Sunderland must sign a “quality” goalscorer this summer if they are to have any hope of winning promotion in 2021-22.

So says Stadium of Light icon Kevin Phillips, speaking exclusively to Football Insider after manager Lee Johnson outlined his transfer plans.

Quoted by Chronicle Live on 21st July, Johnson said he would like “six” new signings but would take “four if they [are] high quality.”

Charlie Wyke, Sunderland’s top scorer last term with 26 League One goals, left for Wigan Athletic on a free transfer earlier this month.

And Phillps insisted that it is “imperative” that Sunderland replace his goals with a new star striker.

He told Football Insider’s Dylan Childs: “You don’t get out of the league unless you have a top striker who can score goals.

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“We saw Charlie Wyke last year take them to the play-offs. Without his goals, they’d have been nowhere near it.

“That just highlights the importance of a striker scoring goals. I’ve said all along, if you lose your top goalscorer then you have to replace him.

“It’s not easy. If he needs to bring six players in, I’d rather see four quality players. But that’s Lee Johnson’s decision.

“For me, it’s imperative you get a striker in who has the quality to hit the ground running and get those early goals to set you on your way.

“Something will happen. They’ll have options there that they are following up, I’m sure.”

The Black Cats have Aiden O’Brien, Will Grigg and Ross Stewart currently on the books in the forward positions.

They have already signed Callum Doyle, Jacob Carney, Corry Evans and Alex Pritchard so far this summer.

In other news, Sunderland make approach to sign 2020-21 promotion winner.