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Could Danny ever become Wearside's golden Graham?
GIVEN the reception Danny Graham received from a large section of Sunderland supporters on Tuesday night, it's safe to assume what is written below will not please everyone on Wearside.
Born in Gateshead, brought up a Newcastle United supporter who once suggested in an interview with a Watford fanzine that he would 'stay as far away from Sunderland' as he could if the Magpies ceased to exist.
He would probably be the first to admit that he was a little stupid to make such remarks a few years ago, when he would never have imagined he would have ended up playing for Sunderland.
That, though, is exactly what has been on the cards for a number of weeks and is appealing to the Swansea City striker. If Graham does conclude a £5.5m switch to the Stadium of Light, his previous comments hardly get him off to the best of starts with his new employers.
But if Graham, a self-confessed Geordie and boyhood Newcastle fan, is excited and hungry about the prospect of heading back to the North-East to pull on a red and white shirt why shouldn't Sunderland fans give him a fair chance.
Judging by the noises belted out around the Stadium of Light when he came on as a late Swansea substitute on Tuesday night, there are plenty Mackems who have already made their mind up. They don't want Graham anywhere near the club.
'You'll always be scum' is one of the more printable chants directed in his direction after emerging from the bench for the final 16 minutes - but the reality is that Martin O'Neill has identified him as his preferred attacking target.
Graham, it is thought, has not been put off by the abuse he received and that will please O'Neill if he does get his man before Thursday's 11pm transfer deadline.
The 27-year-old striker has other options and would be well within his rights to push for a move to Norwich, Stoke City of Queens Park Rangers instead. As things stand, though, it is Wearside where he would like to move the most.
Sunderland supporters should remember that. Graham has made incredible strides during his career and to be talked about as a £5.5m footballer is testament to his character and determination to succeed.
When he was taken to Middlesbrough as a teenager he was a late developer, spotted playing for Chester-le-Street Town Juniors.
Despite an impressive goalscoring record for the reserves he struggled to make inroads towards the Boro first team mainly because of the big-money strikers ahead of him at the Riverside Stadium.
Undeterred he was keen to prove Steve McClaren and Gareth Southgate - the two managers who rarely trusted him enough to play - wrong. After Hartlepool United resisted the opportunity to sign him for next to nothing, he ended up at Carlisle United.
The goals flowed at Brunton Park, where he scored 37 league goals in 91 starts during two-and-a-half years with the Cumbrians. That form sparked interest from a number of Championship clubs.
At the end of his contract a tribunal ruled Watford had to pay Carlisle an initial £200,000 for his services, which rose to £350,000 after hitting 38 goals in 82 starts in the Championship.
Such exceptional form for the Hornets persuaded Swansea to pay £3.5m for him on the back of their promotion to the Premier League. It was seen by many as a gamble until he repaid them with 14 goals to help the Swans stay up.
This season, despite falling out of favour under Michael Laudrup, he has still grabbed seven goals in helping Swansea reach the Capital One Cup final.
With just Steven Fletcher and Connor Wickham as recognised strikers at Sunderland, it is little wonder O'Neill has identified Graham as the man to come in and challenge those two for a first team place.
Even those fans bellowing insults towards Graham on Tuesday night would have to admit that Sunderland are desperate for more firepower.
Where else do the same supporters expect O'Neill to turn now with hours remaining of the January transfer window? Darren Bent and his £70,000-a-week wage?
Sunderland have done well to recover from dropping in to the Premier League's bottom three in December, it is essential a new striker arrives to build on that momentum.
And if Danny boy can help power Sunderland in to the top ten in the final few months of the campaign, suddenly golden Graham's goals would be the talk of Wearside and not his roots.