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Reader’s Corner: Reviewing the progress of the Sunderland players who are out on loan

Roker Report reader Derek Gagnon takes a look at how our temporarily departed are faring since leaving the SOL. Fancy writing? RokerReport@Yahoo.co.uk - send us an email!

AFC Wimbledon v Hull City - Sky Bet League One Photo by Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images

With more than a month gone since the winter transfer window, it’s time to take a look at how the trio of Sunderland players out on loan are doing for their adopted clubs.


George Dobson

George Dobson, 23, was the first Black Cat to depart the friendly confines of the Stadium of Light in the January transfer window, joining AFC Wimbledon on loan on 22 January.

Since joining the Dons, Dobson has appeared in all eight League One fixtures the team has played. He came off the bench for shifts against Crewe Alexandra and Doncaster, before starting the last six matches.

Glyn Hodges was sacked as Wimbledon’s manager following Dobson’s first start, but new man in charge Mark Robinson has kept him in the starting 11 for the last five matches.

AFC Wimbledon v Gillingham - Sky Bet League One
Dobson’s enjoyed a good run at Wimbledon
Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images

Dobson has primarily played as one of two defensive midfielders in a 4-2-3-1 formation that seems to be Robinson’s formation of choice. Wimbledon have two wins, a draw and two losses since the change, and had only two points from their previous 11 matches prior to Hodges’ departure, so it seems to have helped a bit.

Dobson has seen 564 minutes of action since joining, completing 228 of 287 passes attempted (79%), with a couple of shots on target and a yellow card to show for it as well. It seems that Dobson will be a key figure in the 21st placed Dons’ fight to avoid the drop.


Elliot Embleton

It was somewhat surprising for some that Sunderland loaned out 21-year-old Elliot Embleton to Blackpool on February 1. Embleton had appeared nine times for the Black Cats, including three starts, and the move left the team slightly thin up top.

Embleton has appeared three times for the Seasiders since joining. He started in his debut match against Ipswich Town, putting in 82 minutes. He stayed on the bench for Blackpool’s next game, before coming off the bench against Portsmouth. He came on in the 75th minute and fed a pass to Jerry Yates on the halfway line, and Yates did the rest to score the only goal of the contest, giving Embleton his first assist of the season.

Charlton Athletic v Blackpool - Sky Bet League One
Embleton’s found regular starts hard to come by at Blackpool, too
Photo by Rob Newell - CameraSport via Getty Images

He played the final 22 minutes of Blackpool’s 3-0 win over Charlton on the weekend, before being an unused sub in their 1-1 draw to Crewe Alexandria on Tuesday.

Thus far, Embleton has played 119 minutes, completed 36 of 45 passes (80%), had two shots on target, and a few key passes, including the one that led to the previously mentioned assist.


Will Grigg

Will Grigg’s on fire. We all saw this coming, right? While managing just five goals in 47 League One matches for Sunderland, Grigg has found his scoring touch for Milton Keynes Dons, who he joined at the very end of the transfer window.

He bagged two assists in his debut against Rochdale, equalling his career League One tally with Sunderland.

He had three shots including one on target against Hull City in his next match, but was kept off the scoresheet. He then scored his first goal of the season, and first goal for the Dons since 2015, when he found the net against Northampton.

Sunderland v Milton Keynes Dons - Sky Bet League One
From this...
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Getty Images
Gillingham v Milton Keynes Dons - Sky Bet League One
To this. Infuriating, isn’t it?
Photo by James Chance/Getty Images

He scored again in his next outing against Shrewsbury Town, before being kept off the scoresheet in a 28 minute substitute appearance against Oxford United. On Tuesday, Grigg had a goal and an assist as MK Dons lost 3-2 to Gillingham.

In his six matches so far, Grigg has three goals and three assists, with eight shots (four on target, two blocked, and two off the mark).

Grigg’s playing days with Sunderland may or may not be over, but we now know for certain that he’s still capable of producing at the League One level.