They do not come much easier than Leo Bonatini’s first goal of the season, a mighty Sunderland-style defensive blunder by the Boro defender Daniel Ayala setting up his chance, well as he then took it.

But the Wolves striker has been on fire since, his total of nine including five goals in October and that is what made him the PFA Bristol Street Motors Championship player of the month as voted by fans.

Sunderland’s Lewis Grabban was one of five other nominees but came last in the shortlist with just three per cent of the votes cast. In fact, Bonatini polled more than all five rivals combined.

But hang on a second. Bonatini plays for the club currently topping the table and we all know which position Sunderland occupy. If we think about it for, say, half a second, we can probably hazard a guess as to which of them enjoys the more creative, thoughtful and effective service. So Grabban’s eight goals can be seen as an achievement no less than creditable than Bonatini’s nine – and he, too, scored five of them in October.

In an abysmal first three months of the season, we are entitled to criticise but there is also a duty to recognise rare glimpses of merit and hope.

Thanks to Snack Media, our occasional partners, for organising the poll. Thanks to readers who responded to our exhortations to vote for our man. Thanks to Grabban himself for “liking” one of the Salut! Sunderland tweets …

Here are the full Championship voting figures:

•           Leo Bonatini (Wolves) – 56%

•            Sammy Ameobi (Bolton Wanderers) – 17%

•            Bruno Ecuele Manga (Cardiff City) – 10%

•            Diogo Jota (Wolves) – 7%

•            Massimo Luongo (QPR) – 7%

•            Lewis Grabban (Sunderland) – 3%

M Salut, drawn by Matt, colouring by Jake

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Salut! Sunderland is written, illustrated and edited by – and principally for – supporters of Sunderland AFC. The site aims to be sufficiently literate and entertaining to appeal to people who do not follow SAFC but enjoy good football writing.

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