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Sunderland tracking Scunthorpe winger Adelakun; so is he any good? BBC journo gives us his view

Reports this evening claim Sunderland are leading the race to sign Scunthorpe United winger Hakeeb Adelakun. What would he bring? We collared BBC Humberside’s Matt Dean for the lowdown.

Scunthorpe United v Northampton Town - Emirates FA Cup First Round Replay Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images

According to the Daily Mail, Sunderland are tracking Scunthorpe United winger Hakeeb Adelakun and are set to beat off competition from Hull City, Barnsley and Crystal Palace to land the 21-year-old.

Adelakun is attracting attention thanks to some fine performances for the Iron, with two goals and 7 assists in League One this season. The attack-minded player bagged an EFL gong in November after helping Scunthorpe reach fourth in the table.

The Hackney-born midfielder was on the books of Crystal Palace and West Ham as a kid before joining United in 2012. Adelakun has since played nigh-on 120 games for Scunthorpe after becoming their youngest ever player on his debut at the age of 16.

The 6ft 2in wide man is something of handful for opposition defenders and has generally weighed in with a handful of goals each season since he made his bow in Lincolnshire.

Scunthorpe United v Northampton Town - Emirates FA Cup First Round Replay
Adelakun in action last month
Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images

After a rocky spell earlier this year in which Adelakun was dropped from the side amidst rumours he was set to be released, Scunthorpe boss Graham Alexander has since hailed his attitude.

And following a slightly inconsistent start to the season, the youngster has hit a rich vein of form as the campaign has progressed, attracting attention from assorted clubs higher up the pyramid.

In order to bag the crack, we collared BBC Humberside’s Sports Editor and footy radio host Matt Dean (@mattdeanradio):

Adelakun is unquestionably talented. He’s a powerful right winger with an ability to turn a game with a trick or flick. His link to Sunderland is no surprise. He’s having one of his best seasons. The former West Ham youngster was named the EFL’s Young Player of the Month for November.

His attitude is much improved this season and there’s a confidence that he’s more capable than ever before of fulfilling his potential. In the past there have been doubts when we’ve seen his talent sporadically.

Given his and the team’s form this season, Scunthorpe will be keen to keep him and get him to commit to a new deal. When on song, he can be the difference maker.

Here’s his goal against MK Dons scored just before Christmas...

For a Sunderland side desperately lacking the pace and power needed to compete in the Championship, Adelakun would certainly arrive with something to offer.

The Black Cats are lacking options out wide on the right with Jeremain Lens and Fabio Borini long gone, Duncan Watmore out injured for the season, Callum McManaman failing to impress and Joel Asoro being used sparingly so far under Chris Coleman.

Reports suggest Scunthorpe will hold out for £1m to bag the services of their promising youngster who they still hope to tie down to a new deal with his current contract set to expire next summer.


Matt Dean is BBC Humberside’s Sports Output Editor and appears on the wireless hosting football shows and Look North. @mattdeanradio