Spurs’ Danny Rose on a season-long loan is Sunderland’s preferred option if Kieran Richardson leaves the club tomorrow, writes Graeme Anderson.
The highly-rated former Leeds United youth-team player moved to White Hart Lane as a teenager in a £1million move in 2007 but suffered a serious injury shortly after joining and has yet to really make a first-team breakthrough.
He has mustered only a handful of first-team appearance as deputy to first-team regular Benoit Assou-Ekotto – though he won praise in those games from then manager Harry Redknapp – as well as loan spells at Watford, Peterborough and Bristol City.
But the career of the former England Under-21 regular is believed to be on the upturn again.
He was selected for Stuart Pearce’s Great Britain squad in this year’s Olympics and Sunderland will look to give him an opportunity he can’t get at White Hart Lane if Richardson, as expected, joins Fulham before tomorrow’s 11pm transfer deadline.
Sunderland boss Martin O’Neill went into the summer looking for a specialist left-back to add to his squad and will not want to end the current transfer window in a weaker position than he started as far the full-back role goes.
Three players in his squad are capable of playing solidly there – Richardson, Jack Colback and the currently crocked Phil Bardsley.
If Richardson goes, that will leave only Colback in the short-term, unless a left-back can be found.
And Rose would welcome the chance to relaunch a career which has stalled over the last few years.
Martin O’Neill confirmed on Tuesday night that Fulham had made an offer for Richardson which had been accepted by the club.
And the manager said he would leave it in Richardson’s hands to see whether personal terms could be agreed, adding that he would be more than happy if the transfer window closed with the former Manchester United man still part of the set-up at the Stadium of Light.
Richardson was still training at the Academy yesterday, so the deal is far from done.
But the odds are that he will end his five-year association with the Black Cats tomorrow night which would open the door for Rose to come in and prove himself.
Sunderland have been linked with a host of left-backs over the summer, with Aston Villa’s Stephen Warnock thrown into the mix alongside the likes of Dnipro’s Ivan Strinic.
But Warnock never looked likely a likely target for the Black Cats and Villa manager Paul Lambert confirmed yesterday there had been no bids for the player.