Worse than Fletcher? Striker Sunderland were desperate to land in January has been rot for Reading

Sunderland were supposedly desperate to land Chris Martin on loan in the January window but ended up with Ashley Fletcher instead. Chris Coleman clearly has no eye for a striker, both have been rubbish for Sunderland and Reading respectively. 


Slow, uninterested and with an appalling strike rate since arriving in January. That charge could aptly be levelled at Ashley Fletcher since he joined Sunderland from Middlesbrough but is also exactly how Reading fans are describing Chris Martin in the nine games he's played since opting to sign for the Royals instead of the Black Cats in the winter window.  

Martin will probably be on the bench at the Madejski tomorrow when Reading host Sunderland. Coleman was reportedly desperate to land the Derby striker in January before he turned down the chance to join the relegation procession at the Stadium of Light. 

But with the Black Cats ending up with an underwhelming Ashley Fletcher instead, Martin has been equally as bad as the Middlesbrough man since joining Reading on loan until the end of the season.

Sunderland's failure to replace leading scorer Lewis Grabban is a significant reason behind the soon-to-be confirmed relegation to League One, but perhaps Martin wouldn't have been the answer either. 


The 29-year-old has only scored twice from 32 Championship appearances this term, though he has only started nine games. Martin hasn't found the net for Reading since arriving on deadline day and fans in Berkshire have been unimpressed by his general lack of work rate, effort and application. 

The man Sunderland eventually plumped for after a protracted wait to get a decision from Martin has fared little better of course. Ashley Fletcher has scored one goal for the Black Cats in his solitary decent display in the Good Friday fluke victory over Derby. 

Martin may have been mortified when the man who signed him for Reading, Jap Staam, departed in March. His former Derby boss Paul Clement was unveiled as the new man at the Madejski soon after and there have been 'interesting' rumours on social media regarding the pair's relationship when they worked together at Pride Park. 

In all probability, Reading ended up with Martin because they needed a striker and like Sunderland had little better option. The man himself probably had no other offers but his rejection of Chris Coleman's advances was merely one of many embarrassing episodes to befall those in charge at the Stadium of Light this season. 

Martin is supposed to be earning north of £20,000 a week at Reading. Sunderland probably couldn't even have afforded him. 





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