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Sunderland v Swansea City - Sky Bet Championship

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Trai Hume’s rise has been impressive... is he now Sunderland’s #1 right-back?

The ex-Linfield defender is performing consistently and is now a reliable presence in defence. We asked our writers whether he should now be an automatic pick when fit

Photo by Michael Driver/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Andrew Smithson says…

I really like what we’ve seen of Hume so far, and at the moment it’s his position to lose.

I say that as a big admirer of Lynden Gooch, so it’s good to have different options in that position and players that bring slightly different characteristics to the role.

It was only a year or so that Hume arrived and considering the level he came from, it’s still early days in his development.

That said, I get the impression that he’s been eager to knuckle down, and now that he’s getting a regular run in the first team, I think we’ll see his development increase tenfold.

That isn’t to say that he looks raw at the moment or out of place- simply that he has the potential to become even better.

He certainly seems comfortable at this level. He has a good cross on him, he appears to be as fit as a fiddle and is always switched on defensively. This is exactly the type of player fans can get behind- a young lad who’s keen to do well and who seems to have his head screwed on.

As I recall, he signed a lengthy contract when he arrived at Sunderland and I’m hoping we see him continue to impress.

Dundee United v Sunderland - Pre Season Friendly Photo by Paul Devlin/SNS Group via Getty Images

Ewan Bowman says…

He’s becoming one of the first names on the teamsheet and since coming to the side, he’s been outstanding.

Defensively, he’s been solid and he hasn’t given his opponents any joy at all. He’s also tenacious, as we saw with that challenge on James McClean, and he reads the game very well.

However, what has impressed me the most is his final ball, which is getting better all the time.

He’s always looking to get to the byline and whip the ball in, which in turn has led to a few assists this season, and I feel there’s more to come. When Lynden Gooch returns to full fitness, it would be a travesty if Hume was dropped.

His confidence is sky-high at the moment and his performances have shown that he’s definitely a Championship-level player.

Sunderland v Middlesbrough - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Mark Fletcher/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Kingsley Reavley says…

I’ve been pleasantly surprised by Hume’s progress over the past few months.

Smartly, we didn’t throw him in at the deep end after he signed, because a teenager coming from the Irish league could’ve had his confidence destroyed by the rough and tumble of League One football.

Now that he’s had time to acclimatise to his teammates, the North East and English football, he’s really beginning to show his worth.

Any concerns our fans might’ve had about Hume being out of his depth or appearing a bit lightweight have now disappeared.

He seems to be a confident young player with belief in his own ability and with his mazy runs, clever link-up play and crossing ability, it looks like the club’s recruitment team have landed another gem.

Is he our first choice right back? Yes.

It’s probably a little harsh on Lynden Gooch, as he hasn’t done a great deal wrong this season, but Hume is simply bringing too much to the side and playing with such confidence that it would be wrong to leave him out.

Sunderland v Swansea City - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Michael Driver/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

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