Leadbitter on his high hopes for Hume
Sunderland captain Grant Leadbitter appeared on the latest episode of the ‘Veterans in Crisis’ podcast to discuss various aspects of his career.
During the talk, the 34-year-old mentioned how much he is enjoying watching the club’s current first choice left-back Denver Hume.
The academy product has made that position his own, and Leadbitter believes he has everything needed to be a success in the game - and thinks he will go on to play in the Premier League:
I’m enjoying watching Denver at the minute, I think Denver’s got a real good chance of being a top, top, top player.
I’m telling you he has a real good chance, he has everything for me. So long as he keeps doing the right things, Denver, I believe, will go on to be a Premier League player one day.
I believe he has all the attributes, he’s got the athleticism, he’s got the technical ability and he’s a quiet and calm lad, which I quite like.
If Denver keeps working hard every day and listens to the coaches around him, hopefully he’ll kick on.
With a little bit of luck because everyone needs a bit of luck but if Denver can keep playing week in, week out and keep improving Sunderland football club, that’s nice to see.
Leadbitter also discussed his return to Sunderland from Middlesbrough last January and said he could not turn down the opportunity to return home:
Yeah, it was easy, I’m not going to lie.
It was really easy because it could have happened twice before but it didn’t for whatever reason, sometimes it didn’t really feel right.
I came as soon I as knew Sunderland were interested, there was no way I was going to turn it down and Jack [Ross] was brilliant with that, the football club were brilliant.
But I’ve got to say, Steve Gibson did help and Middlesbrough were great with it wanting it to happen because it’s where I really wanted to move to.
You can watch the full podcast with Leadbitter by clicking play on the YouTube video below.
Sunderland court case being watched closely
Sunderland are taking former club doctor Ishtiaq Rehman to court following the shambolic transfer of Argentine winger Ricky Alvarez.
The club are seeking damages of £13,182,647.93 from Rehman at the High Court for breach of contract and negligence, claiming the doctor did not ‘oversee the medical appropriately, or act with best practice’ after Alvarez arrived from Inter Milan.
Although Rehman is unable to comment specifically on the circumstances due to the on-going court case, he did speak to NRC Handelsblad about how closely the medical community in football are following the case due to potential repercussions:
Many club doctors in England are following the process very closely, because there is no precedent.
Club doctors in the Netherlands are under increasing pressure since the Ajax youngster Abdelhak Nouri collapsed due to cardiac arrhythmia during a friendly match, with doctors feeling that if they do not have an automated external defibrillator (AED) available at all times, they will be seen as negligent.
The case between Rehman and Sunderland should have club doctors worried explains Michiel van Dijk, a lawyer specialising in sports law and labour:
I think the profession should really be worried.
Club doctors must stand up, join forces and collectively arrange that their rights are better protected. The sports doctors he speaks are concerned, at the end of the song the doctor is alone. You can see that in the drama around Nouri.
Ex-Black Cat roundup
Former Sunderland goalkeeper Oscar Ustari is on the move again, as he is expected to sign for Liga MX side FC Pachuca.
A one-year deal is in the pipeline for the Argentine with the only complication being potential interest from a European team.
Sebastian Coates has signed a new deal at Sporting Lisbon that will keep him at the club until 2023. The Uruguayan international has played 182 games since joining the club from Sunderland in 2015.
Former Sunderland development striker Oumare Tounkara has left Romanian top flight outfit Astra Giurgiu on a free transfer after failing to adapt to life in Romania. The 29-year-old only signed for the club in the summer from Ligue 2 side Chateauroux.
Swedish left-back Oscar Krusnell has joined Swedish third tier side Team TG on-loan as he looks for first team football. The 20-year-old left Sunderland for his current parent club Hammerby back in 2017.