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Transfer Latest: Sunderland sign left-back from Everton & released Chelsea midfielder for U23s

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Sunderland have recruited two players for their U23s squad ahead of the new season, with Michael Collins joining from Everton and Ruben Sammut arriving following his release by Chelsea.

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Sunderland have signed Michael Collins (Everton) and Ruben Sammut (Chelsea) on free transfers, two players who will join up as part of Elliott Dickman’s U23s side for the forthcoming season.

Speaking about the signings, Dickman said:

We are delighted to welcome some new additions to our development side this summer.

Michael is a left footed centre-back and he played with us last season for the under-23 and under-18 teams.

We have brought him in from Everton and are hoping he can continue to grow as a player next season.

Ruben was here last season on trial and played a couple of games. We were really impressed with him and we are delighted to see that he has chosen to come to Sunderland.

We have brought him in from Chelsea. He is a lovely lad and like the rest of our group, he is very thorough and professional.

Both men played games on trial for the club last season, with Collins featuring for the U18s and Sammut playing for the U23s in a loss at Eppleton Colliery Welfare to Stoke City.

Sammut - a Scotland under-21 international - had been at Chelsea since the age of 7 but left the club this summer, noting his departure with some emotional words on his Instagram page. The midfielder also had a short spell on loan at Falkirk in the Scottish Championship earlier last season.

Collins is a quick, athletic defender who can play both at left back and in central defence. He had been with Everton’s academy since 2014, and is eligible to represent England, Republic of Ireland and Jamaica at international level.

He was a regular in Everton’s U18s side last season, but has been allowed to move on from the Premier League side as he bids to make his name in the game elsewhere.