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.
5⃣ Nathan Newall— Sunderland AFC (@SunderlandAFC) July 1, 2021
6⃣ Tyrese Dyce
Nathan and Tyrese have both joined the club on one-year contracts.
Welcome to Wearside, Lads pic.twitter.com/ZhfVV6Cv9E
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.