Duncan Watmore joined Hibernian on-loan for the rest of the season on transfer deadline day to gain valuable first team experience Although he only joined Sunderland in the summer from non-league Altrincham, he rapidly rose through the ranks and made an impressibve first team debut as a second half substitute in the FA Cup third round victory against Carlisle United.
After joining Hibs, their manager, and former Sunderland manager, Terry Butcher heaped praise on the young winger, despite how young he looks;
Duncan looks like he has won a competition to be here - he looks so young!
He's 19 but if you look at him at first you think, ‘That's the mascot having a warm-up!'.
Butcher was in no doubt of the youngster's quality however and was glowing in his praise for the former Altrincham man;
When you see him play, though, he's an incredible player.
Duncan attacks full-backs. He gets them on the wrong foot and goes past them. I don't know how he does it
sometimes but he does.
He delivers a great ball as well and is all-energy. He lifts you off your seat, as simple as that. Not that I'm sitting watching training but he makes me want to jump up in the air because he's that different to what we have.
Duncan can tackle and get stuck in but he's also gifted on the ball. We're lucky to have got him because other clubs definitely wanted him.
He's just infectious and if you look at him alongside someone like Sam Stanton it's all energy. They make you tired watching them because they run around so much.
Although Sunderland have high hopes for Watmore, Butcher is already looking forward to the summer transferwindow and attempting to make the 19-year-old's move permanent;
I'm very comfortable with the fact they are on loan. I don't have any problem with their commitment and everything else. They are hungry boys and desperate to do well and we can easy turn these loans into permanent deals in the summer.
I didn't want to get permanent deals at the moment if I could help it because I'm looking to do major work in the summer when there's a lot more quality and a lot more players available, but these players are certainly going to add to the squad and with the other boys will take us through to the summer, when we'll see what happens then about their moves turning into permanent deals.
I do not know, we will wait and see, but it would be nice if they did because we know a lot about them and they know a lot about us. I know these boys are committed and will give everything for Hibernian Football Club.
It will be unlikely that Sunderland would sanction his sale, with Gus Poyet a fan of the winger and Sunderland's head coach enthusing about the opportunity he has in Scotland;
It's a great opportunity for Duncan Watmore to go to Hibernian.
He's impressed me because of where he's come from, and where he's playing.
To have an opportunity to go to Hibernian is massive, and we couldn't let it pass.
We couldn't really promise any opportunities for sure here in the first-team.
There were a few clubs in England who wanted him, and they were easy options because we could have recalled him.
But after talking to Terry, I think it was a unique opportunity for him - to go from where he was one year ago to play proper football.
There's pressure and exposure up there with the television. Even in one game against Celtic it's going to be amazing.
Hopefully Watmore will come back from Hibs a better player and we can see him kick on and be a part of the first team next season.