Bournemouth central midfielder Emerson Hyndman is set to join Sunderland on loan in the next 48 hours, according to reports this afternoon.
The United States international - who started out in professional football at Fulham - spent time on loan at Scottish side Glasgow Rangers in the second half of last season, impressing before going on to win their young player of the year award.
Fox Sports reporter Keith Costigan revealed on Twitter earlier today that Hyndman was a target for Chris Coleman, and in conversation with Roker Report revealed that it was his belief that the paperwork should be done tomorrow.
Emmerson Hyndman may be going on loan to Sunderland. Told deal could be finalized ASAP— keith costigan (@KeithCostigan) January 21, 2018
Hyndman has been left frustrated by a lack of playing time at Bournemouth, only featuring on three occasions this season - all of them coming in cup competitions.
Speaking after the USMNT midfielder’s performance for the Cherries against Wigan in the FA Cup in midweek, manager Eddie Howe remained coy on what the plans for him before the end of the transfer window would be.
That’s something we will look at towards the end of the window. I wouldn’t close it off and say no but I wouldn’t say yes, either.
We will make a decision taking into account the state of our squad at that time.
I think Emerson did really well against Wigan here and did very well when he came on the other day. I’d love to give him more opportunities but that is difficult as the position he plays is one of our strongest in terms of numbers.
I’m very pleased with the way he’s attacked the season and how well he has done behind the scenes, so we will make the right decision for Emerson.
In order to find out what he’s actually like and what he could potentially bring to the table, we spoke to fellow SBNation site ‘Get The Battle Fever On’ to get the Rangers perspective on a player that spent a decent amount of time there on loan.
RR: So, Emerson Hyndman - Sunderland fans won’t know a great deal about him or the way that he plays. He comes very highly rated of course. What kind of player is he, and do you think he’d be capable of playing at a decent standard in the Championship?
BF: I think you have very little to worry about as to whether he’s of the requisite *standard*, although he’s definitely better suited to the SPFL, where the pace of the game is still high but the players are less athletic and more technical compared to the English lower leagues.
He’s a midfielder with an eye for goal, basically. He finds the spaces and finishes instinctively and has a good range of finishing for a midfielder. Outside the box, he generally keeps things pretty simple. His somewhat limited range of passing means he won’t run the game per se, but he certainly won’t give the ball away much either.
As I say though, the SPFL is not replete with athleticism and physicality, so how he’d cope being roughed up by the more robust defenders and midfielders in England will remain to be seen (while the SPFL is a combative league, it is combative in an “elbow you in the face when the referee’s not looking” way rather than the way Ngolo Kante, say, is combative).
RR: To be honest, he sounds just like what we need. We’ve not got a great deal of goals in us, and the midfielders that we do have that are capable of scoring and creating either aren’t fit or haven’t performed to an acceptable standard. We’ve started playing with a two in the middle, surrounding them with hard-working players. Where do you think he’d slot into our side?
BF: I think he might struggle in a two. Well, not struggle - he’d probably be fine - but not get as many goals. I should stress he’s not one to batter one in from 25 yards, he’s somebody who times his runs from deep very well. He’d be better as the furthest forward in a three. He will put a decent shift in too.
RR: If you were going to compare him to any other player, perhaps one currently playing in England, who would you say he was most like?
BF: That’s quite a tough one. I’m not really sure you get many guys like that in England so much and to be honest, I don’t watch much of the Premier League these days. Maybe like... Andy King or something?
RR: I’m just trying to work out where he’d fit in really. I suppose he’s very much in the mould of a Jonny Williams or George Honeyman, someone that can link play between the deep-lying central players and the attack.
BF: He’s not a total lightweight. He could play in a two, it would just be a bit of a waste.
RR: He’s apparently wanted by Rangers too. Would you welcome him back or would you rather you didn’t?
BF: We just don’t have a place for him at the moment. Our star 19 year-old player has been playing defensive midfield, one of our best midfielders is a central midfielder, we’re about to buy one of the best young midfielders in Scotland, we’ve loaned a midfielder who looked great in our two recent friendlies, we’ve recalled a midfielder from a loan, we have a very similar player to Hyndman in decent form, then we have Josh Windass who plays as a 10 having a great season, a great youth prospect, and... Niko Kranjcar. Well. You can have Niko Kranjcar if you want.
If we didnt have loads of central midfielders, I’d take him. But we do, so no.
What do you guys need at the moment?
RR: We need... everything, in all honesty. Some goals and technical ability in midfield would be nice though, and maybe that’s where Hyndman fits in. Chris Coleman teams are all about work-rate and effort - is Hyndman that type of player... the type of lad to roll up his sleeves and muck in?
BF: He won’t not do it, but it’s not where his strengths lie.
Whilst he’s not played a great deal of football recently and he isn’t particularly experienced, Hyndman brings goals to whatever team he plays in - and that is precisely what we need if we are going to push ourselves further away from the Championship relegation dogfight.
It’s another loan, of course, and he plays a similar position to Jonny Williams - but since we can’t particularly rely upon Williams to play every week, it’d be good to get in some more options in that position.
RR says: Why not. We need strength in depth and, most importantly, goals.