Winger decides to join Sunderland
Celtic forward Lewis Morgan is set to be reunited with Jack Ross according to reports, as the winger closes in on a season long loan deal to the Stadium of Light.
The Daily Record claims Morgan was wanted by both Sunderland and Aberdeen, with Celtic leaving the decision of which club to join down to the player.
Due to Morgan’s most successful spell of his career coming under the management of Ross when both were at St Mirren, the report says the 22-year-old decide to link up with his old boss, with just the loan terms with Celtic left to sort out.
Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes was hoping to take the player to Pittodrie but was instead informed of Morgan’s decision yesterday afternoon.
Once the formalities are completed, Morgan will become Sunderland’s fourth signing of the January transfer window after Max Power’s move was made permanent, Jimmy Dunne signing on-loan from Burnley and Grant Leadbitter’s move is expected to be completed early this morning.
Maja on joining Bordeaux
Josh Maja completed his £3.5m move to Bordeaux on Saturday and the French club officially unveiled the player yesterday afternoon during a press conference.
Speaking during his unveiling, the 20-year-old revealed his reasons for making his switch to the Ligue 1 side and said the chance to improve himself as well as the opportunity for first team football - something he does not think would have been available at at Premier League side - were the main factors:
Obviously it’s different, I don’t think anyone expected me to make that step up. The manager said some good things to me and my family, gave the opportunity to come here and play football. So I am excited to be here.
I thought it was a good idea. Obviously it’s a big opportunity and I think the sooner, the better. For me the main thing I want to do in my career is to improve and to keep stepping up and coming to Bordeaux will help me do that.
I think being an attacker, you have to take risks, I think for me, that’s part of my game, part of who I am to take risks. When I’m successful here people will see that it was the right thing for me to do.
Going to the Premier League right now wasn’t the best choice to make. Here I’ll get an opportunity to play and I think if I was to go to the Premier League, I don’t think that would have been guaranteed. Maybe I went on loan somewhere or maybe just in the reserves, so this is the right decision to make.
Prudhoe on the struggle to send Pickford out on loan
Despite England’s number one and Sunderland academy product Jordan Pickford being highly rated as a youngster, it was a struggle to send the goalkeeper out on loan early in his career.
Speaking to the BBC, Sunderland academy coach Mark Prudhoe says Pickford could not get in the Sunderland youth team and was playing more for his country than his club at the time.
Which meant it was a struggle to find a club Pickford could join on loan to aid his development:
Believe it or not, Jordan couldn’t get in our youth team - he was actually playing more games for England’s youth teams than Sunderland’s at one stage,” recalls Sunderland academy coach Mark Prudhoe.
Craig Liddle [manager] at Darlington got in touch and asked if we had a keeper they could have on loan. We offered them Jordan but just imagine that sell to a non-league manager.
‘Has he played in your reserves?’ ‘No’. ‘Is he playing in your youth team?’ ‘No, he can’t get in it.’ It’s not very appealing is it?
Craig trusted me, though, and then you started to see Jordan develop more. Suddenly he was accountable for everything he did, accountable for points, results and keeping a manager in a job.