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Newcastle United U18 v Leeds United U18: FA Youth Cup

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Who are Sunderland’s new Under 23s players?

Six youngsters, some of whom have been on trial at the Academy of Light this year, have signed professional contracts at the club. Will any stand a chance of breaking through into the first team squad?

Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images

On Thursday, Sunderland announced the signings of six new players for the under 23 squad, including a host of youngsters released from Premier League and Championship academies. Along with the signing of former Manchester United goalkeeper Jacob Carney, who impressed on loan at Portadown, for the first team squad, it’s hopefully a sign at the cogs are starting to turn in the summer recruitment plan.

Does this influx of talent signal a shift in Sunderland’s strategy towards that adopted by the likes of Brentford, where those with untapped potential who are discarded by other clubs are taken and developed into saleable assets?

Only time will tell, but I wouldn't bet against one or two of these prospects breaking into the first team in the season to come. Kristjaan Speakman did bring Jude Bellingham through at Birmingham after all.

Cameron Jessup

Signed after a scholarship at Crystal Palace’s Academy, 18-year-old defender Jessop came through at Needham Market Academy in Suffolk. He was also on trial at the Academy of Light earlier this year, scoring an own goal in a 4-3 defeat to Newcastle, but clearly has done enough to impress the coaches and earn himself a two-year deal.

Everton v Sunderland: U18 Premier League
Cameron Jessop of Sunderland in action during the U18 Premier League match between Everton and Sunderland on 8th May, 2021
Photo by Emma Simpson - Everton FC/Everton FC via Getty Images

Ethan Kachosa

An 18-year-old Zimbabwean full-back who won a scholarship at Leeds United’s academy, where he was named Academy Player’s Player of the Year in 2019, Ethan Kachosa has been signed on a two year deal. He played two games on trial earlier in the year, scoring 3 goals, including a goal and and an assist on his debut. This lad has bags of potential.

Harrison Sohna

Perhaps the most exiting of the youngsters joining the club, 19 year old Harrison Sohna has been released by Aston Villa. A creative midfielder who has played as a number 10 for the midlanders’ U23s last season, he made his first team debut in the FA Cup as Villa went down 4-1 to Liverpool.

His twin brother Myles is also on the books at Aston Villa, but Harrison was described in a profile in The Athletic this year as the more technical of the pair. Harrison played on trial at Sunderland in April, impressing in a 3-2 win for the U23s over Norwich City.

Aston Villa v Liverpool - Emirates FA Cup - Third Round - Villa Park
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp bumps fists with Aston Villa’s Harrison Sohna after the Emirates FA Cup third round match at Villa Park, Birmingham.
Photo by Rui Vieira/PA Images via Getty Images

Thomas Scott

A skilful and tenacious midfielder, 18-year-old Tom Scott has come through Northampton Town’s academy. Check out this peach of a free kick, which won the Northampton youth team goal of the season award this year.

Nathan Newell

A 19-year-old midfielder from Guiseley AFC in National League North, Nathan Newell was first brought in on trial at Sunderland in March of this year. He played 20 first team games, scoring two goals for the Yorkshire side after coming through the ranks at their academy before their season was curtailed in the new year.

Tyrese Dyce

Dyce is a 20-year-old left-back developed at West Brom, who impressed on trial at the Academy of Light in the spring before picking up and injury in the Premier League 2 Division 2 playoff against Stoke City back in May. He looks physically strong, comfortable on the ball, and the lad clearly has a shot on him too.

Liverpool v West Bromwich Albion - U18 Premier League
Tyrese Dyce of West Bromwich Albion up against Neco Williams of Liverpool during the Liverpool U18 v West Bromwich Albion U18 game at The Kirkby Academy on August 25, 2018
Photo by Nick Taylor/Liverpool FC/Liverpool FC via Getty Images


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