Manchester United draw gives Sunderland U21s a title boost, but midfielder will miss Spurs finale

Sunderland Under-21s will hold a four-point gap at the top of the table heading into their final game of the season at Spurs next week.
Ethan RobsonEthan Robson
Ethan Robson

Second placed Manchester United could only register a 1-1 draw against Chelsea on Monday night, despite including England internationals Ashley Young and Phil Jones, with the pair both returning from injury.

That reduced Sunderland’s lead at the top of the U21 Premier League to four points, albeit reigning champions United boast three games in hand on the Black Cats.

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Sunderland bring the curtain down on their title bid at Spurs on Monday, with Andy Welsh’s side looking to maintain the pressure on United.

However, Sunderland will continue to be without midfielder Ethan Robson, who will be on the treatment table for another fortnight.

Robson suffered a groin injury during Sunderland’s win over Middlesbrough last month, which brought a premature end to his campaign.

But the midfield playmaker promises to be an integral figure for the U21s next season after penning a new two-year contract at the Stadium of Light last week.

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Robson had attracted interest from several Premier League and Championship clubs - thought to have included neighbours Middlesbrough - with his previous deal due to expire at the end of this campaign.

But the 19-year-old committed his future to Sunderland, with the Houghton-le-Spring-born academy product under contract until the summer of 2018.

Robson is the latest of Sunderland’s promising youngsters to pen a new deal at the Stadium of Light.

U21 team-mates Rees Greenwood, Tommy Robson and Max Stryjek have all agreed fresh terms over recent weeks, as they look to follow in the footsteps of Jordan Pickford and Duncan Watmore into the Sunderland first-team picture.