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Fletcher goal spree should encourage Sunderland to show faith in Campbell

Here at ESP we always encourage our readers to write in with their opinion on anything concerning the beautiful game, and this has led to James Halsey writing in with his concerns for his beloved Sunderland.

A 3-0 defeat at Manchester City is the only loss in six matches for Martin O’Neill’s men, but they have only won once during this time; and with their five goals all being scored by summer signing Steven Fletcher, an injury to the Scotland international would be a worry.

Over to you, James...

“I don’t think any Sunderland fan could have asked for more from Fletcher. Yes, he was overpriced at £12million, but he has been superb in these opening weeks and, in all honesty, without him we would already be staring down the barrel of a relegation fight.

“And therein lies the worry: what if he picked up a serious injury? A look at his previous seasons with Wolverhampton Wanderers, Burnley and even Hibernian would suggest that he is pretty lucky when it comes to this, as he has more often than not features in 30+ games in the league per-season, but that doesn’t mean he is infallible.

“If Fletcher was to pick up an injury, we would have the following options: Louis Saha (past his best and very much injury prone), Dong-Won Ji (yet to play at all this season), and Connor Wickham (too early for him at the moment). Of course, O’Neill could always stick Stephane Sessegnon up front again as he did last season, but I’d much prefer him pulling the strings and creating chances for a front-two.

“The other option would be to give Fraizer Campbell more time. The former Manchester United youngster has only started once this season and come off the bench a further four times, but it is about time more faith was shown in him. Before he picked up his serious injury in 2010-11, he was regarded as one of the bets talents in the country and an option for the European Championships with England.

“Last season he came back from this injury and although he only scored once, of his dozen appearances only half of these came from a starting position. I’m sure that given more time on the pitch (so far he has spent just 130 minutes in the first team!) he would get back to his best – after all, he is still only 25, so he should be approaching his best in the next year or two, but he can only do this given more time.”

Sunderland fans, what do you think? Do you think it is now time for Martin O’Neill to put more faith in Fraizer Campbell? And Manchester United fans, what do you remember of your former striker? Would he now be competing with the likes of Danny Welbeck had he stayed at Old Trafford? And what about you England fans? Given time and appearances for his club, do you think Campbell could be an option for Rio 2014?

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