Sunderland AFC announced yesterday that full-back Josh Robson has moved on loan to Norweigan second division side Notodden FK for the remainder of the season.
The young defender follows in the footsteps of former U23 defender Micheal Ledger who also signed for the same Norweigan side just a few weeks ago. The two academy products will now link up as the OBOS-ligaen side look to fight for promotion to Eliteserien - Norway’s top flight of football.
Notodden drew 1-1 with Levanger in their opening game of the season this Monday past, a game in which Michael Ledger played the full ninety - something the former Sunderland defender will be very pleased with. Robson will now be eager to impress the Norweigan outfit as he looks to build some momentum in a career that has seemingly stalled in months gone by.
Robson’s loan move to the Norweigan side is an interesting one as it runs its course on June 30th - the same day Robson’s contract expires with Sunderland.
It would seem this deal allows Robson to test the water and gives the young defender the chance to gain a taste of competitve football that could lead either to a permanent deal with Notodden FK, or attract interest from other sides watching the Norweigan second division.
Michael Ledger followed a similar path with his loan move to Viking Stavanger last season, which has ultimately landed him a permanent deal with Robson’s new club.
It might be somewhat too early to suggest that that Josh won’t return to Wearside, but the timing of the loan’s expiration and the player’s contract would indicate that Robson will likely be leaving his boyhood club sometime in the near future.
Delighted to be joining @notoddenfk on loan till the end of the season! Looking forward to a new opportunity!— Josh Robson (@josh_robson1) April 4, 2018
There’s a real sense of frustration among fans with regard to the manner in which Sunderland are developing their young talent, and this deal will likely rankle with some fans who would have like to have seen the young defender given a loan move away from the club earlier in order to better develop and analyse his true potential.
Andy Nelson and Tom Beadling both look to be benefitting immensely from their loan deals in the Scottish Championship. So much so that Beadling has allegedly attracted the interest of several SPL sides keen on bringing the defender/midfielder to their club upon the expiration of his Sunderland deal this summer.
The likes of Beadling and Nelson might not return to Sunderland and immediately make an impact in the club’s first-team, but they are certainly showing they have the skill and mentality to play well in a competitive professional league - we should have given them this opportunity far sooner.
Fans will wish Josh Robson all the best as he looks to reignite his career, yet many will be left wondering why the club has waited so long to give its young prospects a chance to prove their worth with loan moves away from the club. Hopefully, Robson can find the first-team football he needs in order to make a living and live every fan’s dream - all the best, Josh!