Sunderland have signed 20-year-old left-back Jake Vokins on loan from Premier League side Southampton until the end of the season.
He will compete with Calum McFadzean whilst first-choice left-back Denver Hume is out injured and joins Carl Winchester and Jordan Jones as Sunderland’s second signing of the January transfer window.
The Southampton understudy is regarded as an offensive left-back who loves to drive forward and take players on one-vs-one.
Speaking to SAFC.com, Vokins said:
I want to come here and play games, and help the team get promoted this season. I feel I can bring my qualities to the team; I’m good on the ball and I can deliver crosses, so hopefully that allows the team to score more goals. It’s a big club and I can’t wait to get started.
Head Coach Lee Johnson added:
Jake is a bright young player, who is clearly rated by Southampton. Our full-backs have a similar philosophy to him – defensively and offensively – so we think he will fit in nicely and we are looking forward to working with him. We are grateful to Southampton for entrusting us with his development.
He has graduated from a world-class Southampton academy that has produced an array of England internationals such as Luke Shaw, Adam Lallana, Theo Walcott, James Ward-Prowse, and Callum Chambers in recent years.
Vokins has two Premier League appearances to his name and has acted as cover for Ryan Bertrand throughout this season and the second half of last season.
He made his full debut for The Saints last season in the FA Cup, scoring a rocket in a 2-0 victory over Championship side Huddersfield in the third round.
The 20-year-old has spent most of the season on the bench but did start in Southampton’s recent 2-0 victory over Sunderland’s League One rivals Shrewsbury in the FA Cup.
Also, earlier this week he started in Southampton’s 3-1 home defeat against Arsenal, where he came up against England international Bakayo Saka.
The left-back has represented England at under-17 to under-19 level and was part of the England under-17 team who were defeated by Spain in the 2017 European Under-17 Championships final.
That team under current Swansea manager Steve Cooper featured the likes of Phil Foden, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Jadon Sancho and Rhian Brewster.
Vokins signed a new four-year deal at the beginning of this season, so it is likely his parent club are wanting him to gain more exposure in senior football so that he is ready to compete with Bertrand ahead of the 2021/22 season.
In addition to Dion Sanderson (Wolves) and Jordan Jones (Rangers), Vokins becomes Sunderland’s third loanee, meaning two loan slots are still available should the club wish to use them before the transfer deadline.