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Westwood Wants Games As Young 'Keeper Is Linked

Well it's just all about the goalkeepers this evening isn't it? Kieren Westwood has declared he likes football, and wants to play it more often while another relatively unheard of youngster has been speculatively linked to the club.

Bryn Lennon

With Simon Mignolet firmly out of the picture, the door is open to Kieren Westwood to get some game time, which luckily for him, is exactly what he's looking for... whether it's on Wearside or not.

In speaking with Sky Sports today, the former Irish number one told them he simply wants to play;

I love it at Sunderland, but if I'm not going to play... It's a tough decision, but I need to play football, I think that's evident in itself.

A lot of stuff can happen over the off-season. Basically, I just want to play football.

I'm looking forward to the future, if I'm honest. It's been a frustrating 12 months or so, so I'm looking to come out of the dark times and into some good ones.

Westwood is likely to be the number one next year regardless of who is brought in by Paolo Di Canio to compete with him, so it looks like everything is going to work out quite rosy on that front.

Aged just 28-years old, Westwood still has a few good years left in him and is arguably at his peak. In limited appearances for the club he's tended to perform to a reasonable if unspectacular standard. Next year represents a make or break chance for him to regain his spot as his country's number one as well as establish himself as Sunderland's.

It's been suggested by those in the know around the club that with Westwood given a chance to shine, a younger, sort of "Mignolet 2.0" will be brought in. There's been strong suggestions around PSV's Dutch Under-21 'keeper Jeroen Zoet, while a new name emerging today is Herenveen's Kristoffer Nordfeldt.

Nordfeldt is the current number one for Herenveen and the Swedish Under-21 side, although he is awaiting an offer of a new contract after an impressive season in Friesland.

However, it's known that Nordfeldt turned down bigger opportunities on offer when he joined the club, and just a year into his deal is unlikely to want to jump ship so early in order to sit on a bench. Or at least that would be the sensible decision, and we've seen first hand that some promising young 'keepers see that as a good career choice.

At the moment though, the smart money would be on Zoet, for what it's worth.