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Roker Roundtable: What could Jay Matete’s Sunderland future look like?

Matete is currently enjoying a successful loan spell at League One high flyers Plymouth Argyle. We asked our writers whether he might still have a role to play on Wearside

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

Anthony Gair says…

The main reason for sending players out on loan is for them to hone their skills, build their game and make themselves more of a prospect for their own club or to put themselves in the window for a transfer.

The more you impress, the more chance you have of returning and going straight into the first team, and Corry Evans’ injury has made the prospect of Matete returning more valuable.

The more he plays for Plymouth Argyle, the more he seems to impress, but let’s be honest: he was brought to the club to help us push for promotion from League One, so maybe that’s his level?

However, I do think that he could do a job here in midfield.

The lads we have out there at the moment are either out of form or really tired come fifty minutes or so. Someone like Matete would add a bit of bite to the centre of the park but I’m not convinced he’s the real answer, regardless of the Twitter reaction to every one of his touches!

Huddersfield Town v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship Photo by John Early/Getty Images

Paddy Hayes says…

In short, yes.

Matete was another young target identified by Kristjaan Speakman and the recruitment team. From playing on loan at Grimsby the season before last, and then making the step up to play for a struggling Fleetwood at the wrong end of League One, I’m sure even Matete wouldn’t have envisaged himself becoming a Championship footballer within eighteen months.

His initial performances showed real signs of promise and he looked like the combative ball-winner we’d been crying out for.

Admittedly, his transition from Fleetwood to Sunderland wasn’t completely seamless, and there were some deficiencies, specifically on the ball, although those could be attributed to inexperience.

It was a leap that possibly came a season too soon for him, but his talents are there for all to see, with his loan spell at promotion-chasing Plymouth bearing fruit.

From the outside looking in, he’s a player destined for greater things than England’s third tier, delivering a number of man-of-the-match displays down on the south coast.

With one of our major issues being our lack of defensive solidity in the centre of the park, I can certainly see Matete being a part of next season’s plans.

Tom Albrighton says…

For me, it’s a simple ‘no’.

I’ve got nothing against Matete, but I feel that he’s soon to become a victim of circumstance.

He isn’t a bad footballer but from what we’ve seen so far, it’s a stretch to suggest that he’s a top half Championship player. Yes, playing well on loan at Plymouth is a promising sign, but we mustn't forget that our midfield is already brimming with options.

To force his way in, Matete would have to see off some very talented individuals as well as some we’ve only seen fleetingly.

The likes of Abdoullah Ba, Dan Neil, Edouard Michut and Pierre Ekwah all stand in his way, and considering our ruthlessly efficient recruitment process, you can only see the number of players ahead of Matete increasing rather than decreasing.

It might seem harsh to close the door on someone we haven’t seen a great deal of, but the rapid evolution and improvement of this squad was always going to claim a few players who ultimately haven’t done much wrong. Unfortunately for Matete, he seems to be one of them.

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