Fulham striker Ross McCormack has long carried a reputation as none-more-reliable marksman at second-tier level, but history suggests that harnessing his goalscoring gifts far from guarantees a promotion tilt.
The Scottish international has struck at least 17 times in four of his last five seasons at Championship level and finished 2015/16 with 21, second in the scoring charts to title-winning Burnley’s Andre Gray.
It should be no surprise then that Newcastle, Aston Villa and Norwich, freshly relegated from the Premier League and with money to burn, have purchasing the 29-year-old on to-do lists ahead of a new campaign in which they are 7/4, 8/1 and 9/1 to win the division respectively.
The Mirror report the trio to be among a ‘posse’ of clubs hunting the Cottagers centre-forward, but they should be warned that, for all the seductiveness of his goals-to-games ratio, he can never be said to have fired a team to promotion, or even the play-offs.
Across the five Championship terms in which McCormack has mustered 17 goals or more the beneficiaries of his efforts have not once so much as reached the end off season knockouts.
The closest he ever got across the campaigns in question was with Cardiff in 2008/9, when his 21 goals could only fire the Bluebirds to seventh in the end of term standings.
Tallies of 18 and a career-high 28 during his spell at Leeds yielded only finishes of 14th and 15th, while, since moving to then newly-demoted Fulham for in excess of £11m in 2014, he has finished 17th then 20th in return for contributions of 17 and 21 league goals.
Suspicions that any side set up to cater to McCormack’s tried and trusted methods of net-location is incorrectly configured for a concerted promotion chase are hardly debunked by the placings of his clubs in his occasional off seasons either.
His sophomore year at Cardiff saw him notch just four times in 34 league games, as the Welshmen reached the play-off final, having rounded out 2009/10 in fourth.
The following term he could muster only two divisional goals in 22 appearances, two for Cardiff and 20 for Leeds, yet the former again made the post-season four-way, while United came seventh.