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Who’s this Scottish starlet signed by Sunderland on deadline day? The view from his former club

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Sunderland beat the likes of Aston Villa and Watford to the signature of Scottish starlet Connor Shields on transfer deadline day, but what’s the crack with the 19-year-old?

Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Sunderland signed young striker Connor Shields from Scottish side Albion Rovers this week, but few of us really know much about the 19-year-old who headed south to sign a contract with the Black Cats on transfer deadline day.

Shields had been watched by scouts from far and wide this season and was said to be on the radar of Aston Villa and Watford, with Dunfermline - managed by former Sunderland midfielder Allan Johnston - thought to have made a bid for his services.

In the end, the youngster opted to sign for the Wearsiders and will go straight into Elliot Dickman’s development squad - vying for a starting spot in the Under-23s, who are light on striking options up front right now.

Shields in action for Albion
Image: Albion Rovers FC

Andrew Nelson is on loan at Falkirk for the rest of the season and Josh Maja has made the step up into the Sunderland first team. Benji Kimpioka and Lee Connelly have led the line in recent Premier League 2 games.

But what have Sunderland secured in Shields, and what potential does the young lad from Lanarkshire possess?

In order to find out we collared Daniel Mossie - head of media and matchday PA announcer for Albion Rovers FC - to get the crack from north of the border.

Connor is a 19-year-old player who came through our U20s squad. I contacted Connor back in 2015 to join after knowing he was without a club and I knew he was a player who had potential to make it at a higher level.

Connor can play right midfield but he is an out-and-out striker. He has this never-say-die attitude and a blistering pace - if you blink you’ll notice he’s gone.

I can see him making a huge impact down south and considering Sunderland are my English team I want him to do well.

It’s understood Shields was invited for a week-long trial and despite interest from elsewhere, once he received the offer from Sunderland decided a move to Wearside was a “no-brainer”.

The 19-year-old had been working for a leisure centre in North Lanarkshire before getting the call from the Black Cats this week.