In all honesty, I’m happy to defer to whatever Alex Neil thinks on the matter. He couldn’t go much higher up in my estimation at present, and whatever he says goes.
In an ideal world, I’d love Patterson to be Sunderland’s number one for many years to come, but he’s also still very young, and even if he wasn’t our number one next season he’d still benefit from being in the squad and offering strong competition for whoever we opt to bring in alongside him.
Patto improved so much through last season, which means we really don’t know what his ceiling is as a player. He could be at the limit of his abilities of course, but I’m more inclined to think that he’s got further room for improvement.
If he can find some ‘pitch personality’ (as Lee Johnson used to often say) - i.e. an improvement in his presence on the pitch, a louder and more commanding voice that has that bit of crazy in there that you often see in all top goalkeepers - then I really think he could go on to play in the Premier League.
We’ve been linked to Daniel Iversen and John Ruddy recently, and whilst I can’t profess to be an expert on either of them, they’ve both got decent CVs, and I think that at the very least we’ll be signing another goalie who is capable of being a standout performer at this level.
Let’s just wait and see. I sincerely hope that Patto is headed down the same path as Jordan Pickford, but even then you have to remember that Jordan had played over 100 senior games before he even made a mark on our first team.
Patto’s still got lots to prove before we can say definitively that he’s our number one, and that motivation to prove himself all over again this summer can only benefit our football club.
Michael Dunne says...
The Championship, like League One, is an absolute slog of a division. The amount of high-calibre teams we will be up against will be very new for Patterson, but I rate him very highly.
He’s a young prospect that I can see being at the club for years to come, but I also can understand why Alex Neil may look for a more experienced goalkeeper for next season. As a new team, in the division, and a team with many young players, I think Sunderland could benefit from an experienced head between the sticks.
Someone like Ruddy would be ideal for us, but that doesn’t mean that Patterson won’t get his chance, because having someone who knows the division can only benefit him and the team.
His chance will come, but maybe it would be better to bed him in a little more than throwing him straight in and maybe risk him making a couple of early mistakes that may dent his confidence.
Andrew Smithson says...
I thought Patterson looked promising during our last pre-season campaign, and I also felt he was very good at Port Vale in the League Cup. He then had a little run in the team prior to going on loan, and if memory serves me correctly, he did well in those games too.
It was an encouraging start, but the rate of improvement since then has been even more impressive. He ended the campaign in superb form and the fact we are even having this conversation speaks volumes - in the space of a year he has gone from being a young prospect/third choice to playing like a goalkeeper you would easily believe had 200+ appearances under his belt.
That said, it would be foolish to go into the new campaign without at least one other senior option.
The Championship is a demanding league, and we have to guard against burn out, injury and loss of form. Therefore, if we are going for a keeper, they need to be capable of replacing Patterson from the off, should Alex Neil wish.
That may sound harsh given how much I’ve liked Patterson so far, but it could work in his favour if he attitude is right and he uses the competition as a tool to improve himself even more.
As for the two options listed, John Ruddy would appear to tick the boxes we need but I don’t know enough about Daniel Iversen at the moment to say. The comments from Preston North End fans are positive though, so I’m pleased that we are being linked with quality names.
Our scouting has been pretty thorough so I am hopeful we can find the right option. This is a department of the pitch I have few concerns over, so with any luck, something can be tied up quickly and the focus can turn to other areas.