SAFC have finally announced, after much speculation, the return of Gateshead born striker Danny Graham. He signs for us after Blackburn didn’t renew the striker’s contract at Ewood Park. Graham was a flop at Sunderland in his first spell, scoring just one goal in two seasons, but he revitalised his career in Lancashire, scoring 52 goals in 176 appearances for the Rovers. Graham signed for Sunderland from Swansea in January 2013 for Martin O’Neill’s side for a hefty £5m on deadline day.
On his return, he said: “It’s been in the pipeline for a number of weeks now, so I’m delighted the deal is done and it feels great to be here. I’m looking forward to the challenge that lies ahead. To be brutally honest, it didn't work out, it was a tough time for me in my football career. I don't know why it didn't work out, whatever reason, but for me that's gone. I'm in a different place, Sunderland as a football club is in a different place, and I've come back to try and help get us out the league. When the season finished at Blackburn, Phil Parkinson was pretty much on the phone straight away, there was a lot of negotiating and back and forward, so I'm pleased it's finally done and I'm looking forward to having a good season. Proving a point was a big part of it, to come back and get this football club out of this league is the main priority. I feel I can help. There are a lot of people who will say he's 35, he's this, and he’s that. That's fine, they can talk. I'm here and I'm looking to do well and score the goals to fire us back up. I'm fit and raring to go, hopefully I can be involved against Villa in the EFL Trophy and get some minutes and gradually build it up. I can't wait - and hopefully I can score at the Stadium of Light this time. I'm dying to pull on the shirt again, dying to do well for this football club and make sure we all pull in the right direction."
Phil Parkinson added that he is “delighted to welcome Danny to the club. He provides us with another option and more competition at the top end of the pitch, and he is another excellent addition to the squad. On the pitch, I want him to score goals and fire us up the league and off the pitch; it's to help the young lads. There's a lot of young boys at this football club with great potential so hopefully I can pass on and give them some good advice and help them come along and have good seasons.”