RYAN NOBLE will leave Sunderland at the end of the season as part of a summer clear-out.
The 21-year-old striker was earmarked for a possible departure in the New Year cull of young professionals which saw Blair Adams and Roarie Deacon among those severing their ties with the club.
But it has now been confirmed that the frontman is one of five players who will be released when their current contracts run out, with Adam Reed, Ben Wilson, Wade Joyce and Anthony Callaghan also set to depart.
Striker Noble was prolific at youth and reserve team levels and was tipped for a potential Premier League future after earning places on Sunderland’s bench.
But he has been unable to maintain his progress and never made an impact in the first-team at Sunderland, making only six substitute outings for the club.
He has spent time on loan at Watford, Derby and Hartlepool United – his most recent outing being a month-long spell with Pools before Christmas.
Midfielder Reed, also 21, has had loan stints at Brentford, Bradford City and Leyton Orient, and is currently on loan at Portsmouth.
Goalkeeper Wilson has played Conference football while on loan at Harrogate Town and Gateshead, and was also briefly at League Two side Chesterfield, although he did not play a game for the Spireites.
Joyce and Callaghan are both youngsters who have never played first-team football either at Sunderland or elsewhere.
Midfielder Joyce is currently on trial with Sheffield Wednesday as he looks to find a new club, while defender Callaghan is out injured.
Sunderland’s senior professional development coach Kevin Ball said: “Ryan, Adam and Ben are three more ‘senior’ players who have been at the club a long time so it is upsetting to let them go but all are at the stage of their careers now where, for their own good, they need to be getting their careers going by playing first-team football.
“Wade has been given the option of finding another club and is currently on trial at Sheffield Wednesday, where hopefully he’ll get fixed up.
“Anthony Callaghan is injured at the moment and we’re working hard to get him fit, hopefully match fit enough so he can get the opportunity to go on trial.”
Craig Lynch, meanwhile, has earned himself a new deal.
The 20-year-old (pictured, right)is among 12 players who have been regulars for the Under 21s this season to be handed new contracts.
The dozen prospects are: Joel Dixon, John Egan, David Ferguson, Alex Gorrin, Scott Harrison, Billy Knott, Jordan Laidler, Craig Lynch, Liam Marrs, Adam Mitchell, Connor Oliver and Jordan Watson.
Ball added: “This gives them a big opportunity and we hope they’ll stay, but they have to understand that a new contract doesn’t give them a right to play in the first team.
“It is up to them to work hard and keep progressing.”