Tom Albrighton says…
Loaning players out may represent a flirtation with danger for Sunderland, considering how thin our squad is. That being said, a few names immediately jump off the page.
Jack Diamond will have many column inches written about him in the coming weeks, and despite being one of the few positives from our cup exit to Sheffield Wednesday, it’s clear that greater exposure at a higher level is required before Alex Neil can hang his hat on him.
Aside from the obvious, Sunderland have a tricky decision to make regarding right-backs.
Trai Hume is clearly talented, but possibly a year out from featuring regularly, and one could argue a that League One move until January would do him no harm, although it would leave us short of cover.
Additionally, Niall Huggins is desperate for minutes after a lengthy layoff and could benefit from regular football when he returns. The conundrum lies in the fact that it would be difficult for us to lose both players without leaving ourselves short at right-back, but on the other hand, not loaning either player would run the risk of ‘under-developing’ their potential.
In addition to Diamond and Hume, a possible loan for Jacob Carney would do no harm to a goalkeeper who is clearly well thought of, despite being third choice for the time being.
Mark Carrick says…
Based on the Sheffield Wednesday cup tie, it’s clear that a number of players are not ready to step into the first team any time soon.
Elliot Embleton, Bailey Wright and Patrick Roberts would be the main options from the team that played at Hillsborough, which leaves a number of players either as bench-warmers or needing regular playing time out on loan.
Both Jay Matete and Luke O’Nien looked off the pace, and the question is whether they remain as substitutes or are moved on?
It will depend on who Alex Neil brings in, but it’s clear that the likes of Matete, Trai Hume and Jack Diamond would benefit from playing time if they aren’t going to challenge the first team.
Harrison Sohna may also need to be tested in league football, rather than lingering in the U23s for another season.
Phil West says...
On the evidence of Wednesday, and of several other performances since he arrived at the club, I have a feeling that Jay Matete could be heading out on loan before the window closes.
He was presented with a fabulous opportunity at Hillsborough, to prove that he could be the energetic, game-breaking presence that we so desperately need in midfield, but his performance was sub-par, and nowhere near the level that Alex Neil would’ve been looking for. Perhaps a move to a League One club, where he can get some vital game time under his belt, would be beneficial.
Another player that I would highlight as a potentially departure would be Jack Diamond, who, somewhat perversely, often looked like our most potent weapon against Sheffield Wednesday.
Granted, the bar wasn’t set very high, as we were utterly toothless for almost the entire game, but Diamond at least tried to make things happen, even if he was playing in an unnatural position.
A move to Scott Brown’s Fleetwood has been mooted for Diamond, and it is a move that does make sense.
We are well-stocked for wide attackers right now, and he will doubtless feature regularly for Fleetwood, and will be playing at a higher level than last season. If he does move to Lancashire temporarily, he needs to seize the chance and prove that he does have a higher ceiling than many have claimed.