North East clubs target Cameron Jerome

Reports suggest both Middlesbrough and Sunderland are keeping tabs on 30-year-old Norwich City striker Cameron Jerome.

Norwich City are willing to listen to offers for the striker he played a bit-part role last season, falling behind Nelson Oliviera in the pecking order. The East-Anglian side have already released long-serving players in the window so far, John Ruddy and Sebastian Bassong among the players who were let go in May.

In Jerome's first season for the Canaries, he became a Wembley hero after scoring one of the two goals scored against Middlesbrough in the Sky Bet Championship play-Off final. However, many supporters questioned the striker's ability the following season, after showcasing numerous horrific misses throughout the season. Last season saw the signing of Oliveria, who was Alex Neil's preferred choice in the lone striker role. Never the less, Jerome still managed an impressive 16 goals.

This move would make sense for Sunderland, who are reported to be very keen on 30-year-old, as they look to replace star man Jermaine Defoe, who is set to join Premier League side AFC Bournemouth. Jerome may not be as clinical as Defoe - Not many strikers are - But his willingness to give everything to a cause is what made him a fan favourite at Carrow Road.

After many disappointing years at the Stadium of Light, a grafter like Jerome who will give 100% for the shirt, may be what the supporters need at this moment in time.

Replacement for Defoe?

Cameron Jerome celebrating V Rotherham United | Photo Via Getty Images/Stephen Pond

Many would suggest that the 30-year-old would be the perfect short-term replacement for Defoe and will come at a low cost. The striker will guarantee goals to give Sunderland the best chance of gaining promotion back into the Premier League, whilst also having to improve in other key areas.

A return to Middlesbrough for Jerome just doesn't seem to fit right. Even with Middlesbrough's lack of goals last season, with the attacking players available, few would see Jerome as an improvement for them.

Boro's new boss Garry Monk usually plays with a target type player up front. At Swansea City, he had Wilfried Bony and Bafetimibi Gomis, whilst at Leeds United, Monk used the services of Chris Wood. Middlesbrough already have Rudy Gestede, who is most likely going to be the figurehead for Boro's promotion push, whilst also being able to call upon Patrick Bamford. Therefore Jerome is a non-starter to Middlesbrough for me.