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Roker Roundup 20/21

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Roker Roundup: Report claims Sunderland move for Arsenal right back is ‘gathering pace’

Football.London claim that Sunderland’s reported loan move for Arsenal right back Ryan Alebiosu is gathering pace and nearing completion.

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Alebiosu talks ‘gathering pace’

Sunderland’s efforts to sign Arsenal right-back Ryan Alebiosu have intensified, according to reports.

football.london report that talks over a potential loan deal are now ‘gathering pace’, with the move ‘expected to be completed in the coming days’.

The transfer, revealed exclusively by Sky Sports’ Tom White on the Roker Rapport podcast, would see the 19-year-old join the newly signed Niall Huggins as an option at right-back in Lee Johnson’s squad.

Alebiosu’s impending arrival and the signing of the versatile Huggins (who can play both full-back positions and in midfield), should free up Dan Neil and Carl Winchester to return to their more natural central midfield positions.

Arsenal U23 v Brighton and Hove Albion U23: Premier League 2 Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Key spurred on by Sunderland interest

Sunderland have also been chasing Exeter City right-back Josh Key this summer, with the club having multiple bids rejected for the 21-year-old.

In an interview with the BBC, the defender says Sunderland’s interest in him has given him the confidence to kick on:

It’s nice to know that there are people interested in your style of play and who you are as a player, it give you confidence to really push forward.

Any young player wants to be recognised by other teams as a good player.

Despite that confidence, Key said it is very easy to be sidetracked by speculation but he is just enjoying playing for his hometown club while he is still there:

Something like that is very easy to let it get in the way of your performances but right now I’m playing at my home town club Exeter, so I’m happy and I’m going to give it all I can whilst I’m here.

I could be here for the next five or 10 years, who knows. I’m just going to keep performing and doing my best for the club and the fans, and if I perform well that speaks for itself.

Exeter City v Grimsby Town - Sky Bet League Two Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images

Sunderland in early days of rebuild

Sunderland appointed James Young as the club’s first ever Head of Data and Analysis back in March, as a significant step in the modernisation of the club.

Speaking to Training Ground Guru, Young says that Sunderland are only at “phase 0.5 of our rebuild” and explains that although he pays attention to how the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City use their data and their usage is something the club aspire to, he has been focusing on establishing the fundamentals. Which has made it an exciting time to be at the club:

Things are moving quickly and it’s exciting to be a part of that.

It’s such an interesting project as a whole, with the new ownership, with Kristjaan coming in, with Lee.

All these things are coming together really nicely now.

You can read the full interview with Young by following the link HERE.

Sunderland v Lincoln City - Sky Bet League One Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images
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