O'Neill: Sunderland need an experienced striker

The Black Cats manager is looking to support Ji Dong-Won and Connor Wickham by adding a more seasoned forward following the departures of Nicklas Bendtner and Asamoah Gyan
By Yong-Hun Lee & Ben Somerford

Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill is in the market for an experienced striker to support Ji Dong-Won and Connor Wickham.

The Black Cats have sold Ghana star Asamoah Gyan to Al Ain, while loanee Nicklas Bendtner has returned to Arsenal.

O'Neill, therefore, has confirmed that he intends to add a new forward before the start of the Premier League season but refused to reveal targets.

"Of course we need to bring another striker and I cannot mention specific names," O'Neill told Goal.com. "But it will be an experienced striker who can help young players like Ji and Wickham."

O'Neill added that South Korean striker Ji is still in the running for a first-team place despite his participation at the upcoming Olympic Games.

Ji's inclusion in the Korean squad for the tournament in London means that he will miss much of Sunderland's pre-season campaign, including the Peace Cup in his home country.

"I'll give him chances after he comes back from the Olympics, we'll have more games after the Peace Cup," O'Neill added.

"It was difficult [to let him compete] but I allowed it because it's a great honour for him. I think it would have been good for him to participate in the Peace Cup, he could have got cheers in front of his home fans."
14/1 Sunderland are 14/1 to finish in the top six of the Premier League in 2012-13 with Paddy Power

The 60-year-old praised Ji's technical ability but admitted that he needs to improve physically to compete in the Premier League.

"He's technically fantastic but physically needs to be better for Premier League," O'Neill said.

Sunderland take on K-League club Seongnam Ilhwa on Thursday in the Peace Cup, while Hamburg and Groningen will also compete in the tournament.

Meanwhile, Goal.com also spoke with Sunderland's Wes Brown, an ex-Manchester United team-mate of Park Ji-Sung, who said he understood the Korean's move to QPR.

"At his age, Park needs to play more games. He's a fine player so he won't have any problems at QPR," he said.

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