There were no shortage of interested admirers during Monday's u21 game against Stoke, as managers from England and Scotland were on hand to check out Sunderland's up and coming young players in the hopes of signing them on loan.
Amongst those in attendance from Scotland were Terry Butcher, ex-Sunderland manager and currently in charge of Scottish Premier League side Hibernian, Kilmarnock manager and ex-Sunderland favourite Allan 'Magic' Johnston, Partick Thistle's assistant manager Scott Paterson, St Mirren No.2 Tommy Craig and Dundee scout Archie Knox. The Carlisle and Hartlepool managers, Graham Kavanagh and Colin Cooper respectively, were also at the game.
It's understood that Butcher was looking at Sunderland trio Craig Lynch, Duncan Watmore and Charis Mavrias, he explained after the game that he was particularly interested in boosting his attack;
It seemed like half the Premiership were at the one game. They all want a striker - they want players who can score goals.
Will anything come of it? We're looking at the attacking area because we're pretty strong defensively.
Having drawn a blank last Friday night at Aberdeen, scoring is an area we want to focus on - that can narrow it down for you. I have a little bit of a budget to work to. I emphasise the word little, although we'll certainly try to expand that. Hopefully we can twist our chairman Rod Petrie's arm.
What I don't want to do is bring in players who aren't better than what we have. We need to add quality, new faces, alternatives, new possibilities.
I was treated very well and that's a surprise because I'm normally booed at Sunderland. I really enjoyed it.
I was at another Under-21 game earlier and the pace was rubbish. But on Monday night I thought, ‘Wow, the standard is really good'.
I saw one or two interesting things and I spoke with my former Sunderland defensive partner Kevin Ball and saw Paul Bracewell which was nice.
Cooper and Kavanagh are also amongst the admirers of Watmore, who burst onto the first team scene in the FA Cup win over Carlisle, while Knox of Dundee was believed to be interested in attacking pair George Honeyman and David Moberg Karlsson.
Should any of the development squad youngsters leave on loan, they will join Liam Marrs and Liam Agnew who are both at Boston United and Mikael Mandron who recently joined Fleetwood Town until the end of the season.
The game itself finished 1-1, with Craig Lynch opening the scoring for Sunderland after less than a minute before James Alabi equalised for Stoke.
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