Sunderland loanee Dion Sanderson has attracted Premier League attention due to his supreme performances for the Black Cats this season, leaving Sunderland fans desperate for new owner Kyril Louis-Dreyfus to sign on the promising 21-year-old on a permanent basis.
As Sunderland fans, we are painfully aware that becoming attached to loanee players who arrive at the club and make a huge positive impact, only to be left disappointed for them to return to their parent club with no effort to bring them permanently to Wearside.
Johnny Evans, Danny Rose, Marcos Alonso and Yann M’Villa are those who spring to mind of which became beloved on Wearside within their short tenure at Sunderland.
In terms of Sanderson, within our charge for promotion to the Championship, the English defender has proven throughout the season that he has vast potential and is already performing brilliantly.
He reminds me of a young Rio Ferdinand. Sanderson oozes class in the way he conducts himself on the pitch, with brilliant defensive awareness and helpful pace for a centre half. Given the higher levels of possession and off-ball pressure under Lee Johnson, Sanderson is primed for this style given his competence on the ball, and resistance to fast paced counter attacks.
Sanderson has solidified our central defence, which had been one of our weakest areas in previous seasons, bleeding uncertainty and worry into the rest of the team.
Throughout the tenure of Lee Johnson, Sanderson has clearly become one of the first names on the team sheet, exemplifying his ‘Fire in the belly and ice in the head’ style, with such stellar composure for a young player; showcasing his evident level of class. Rochdale at home a couple of weeks ago yielded arguably his best performance of the season, of many contenders, showcasing Sanderson’s quality at this stage – clear that even at this age he is at least Championship quality.
Given Sanderson’s unmistakable ability it has given his parent club, Wolverhampton Wanderers, a headache as to how to handle the future of the Englishman, after apparent interest from a number of Championship and Premier League sides.
This is the time for new owner, Kyril Louis-Dreyfus, to lay down a gauntlet as Sunderland owner – to show that Sunderland are on track to return to our former days of Premier League football. Utilising funds to secure Sanderson on a permanent basis would showcase that Sunderland have the draw for some of the country’s finest young players, fending off attention from higher tier sides, highlighting the prospect that is the new era for Sunderland AFC.
Hopefully we manage to secure promotion to the Championship for next season and, if so, it would draw Sanderson even more so to us on a long-term deal.
He has clearly enjoyed his football under Johnson, highlighting the revival of the club and granting the fans, so long devoid of hope; legitimate belief that the tides have truly changed on Wearside.