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Hot prospect Asoro unsure about staying at Sunderland - 'I cannot just play U23's all the time'

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Sunderland starlet Joel Asoro has told the media in Sweden that he may consider his future at the Stadium of Light this summer and that his decision will depend on the identity of the Black Cats' new manager and whether he believes he can make the first team in the Championship.

Sunderland v Shrewsbury Town: EFL Cup Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Sunderland prospect Joel Asoro has told the media in his native Sweden that he is unsure about remaining with the club this summer and would not rule out a move away from the Stadium of Light.

Speaking to the Football Channel the 18-year-old forward has said he wishes to progress beyond playing Under-23 football next season:

For myself, I have to develop, I can not just play Under-23 football all the time. If you can not, I have to find something new.

Queens Park Rangers v Sunderland - EFL Cup Third Round
Asoro featured for Sunderland in the EFL Cup against QPR in September
Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

And the Swedish Under-21 international - who will represent his country at the Euro 2017 tournament which starts in Poland next week - says the identity of Sunderland's new manager will be crucial in his decision-making:

Of course you have heard that they [Sunderland] have begun contacting some [managers], but it's not something you can decide now. You do not know what happens. We'll see how the new coach is. Does he like me or not like me? If he does not like me, I have to start finding something new.

Asoro took to the pitch just once in the Premier League last season and was on the bench on a further 8 occasions. But the young attacker was a hit in the Under-23 squad with 16 appearances and a couple of goals.

Nominated for Premier League 2 'Player of the Year', Asoro was also named in the short-list for the prestigious 'Golden Boy' award given by sports journalists to the most impressive player under the age of 21 in European football.

Despite considering his future, the youngster who has been with Sunderland since moving from Sweden at the age of 16, says he has enjoyed his breakthrough into the fringes of the first team at the Stadium of Light:

I'm happy. I was choked. I've still got to play in the Premier League I wanted, even if it was just a few minutes.

That 'few minutes' was nine in his professional debut in Sunderland's second game of the campaign - the home derby fixture against Middlesbrough in August. Asoro also featured a couple of times in the EFL Trophy and the EFL Cup and got ten minutes under his belt in the FA Cup Third Round.

Burnley v Sunderland - The Emirates FA Cup Third Round Replay
Asoro in his appearance in the FA Cup Third Round Replay against Burnley
Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

And the player is mindful of the careful development plan which has been put in place at the Academy of Light with a staged introduction to senior football following his bow in the Premier League:

It started very brightly, then ... It is so for all young players. Getting to know a little of how it feels, then it is not good to play too much of it can wear on a player. It is good to get a picture of how it looks.

Asoro's doubts over his future will alert a host of top European clubs. The young Swede has been scouted extensively since his move to England with the likes of Arsenal, Bayern Munich and Juventus having had him watched.