Stewart Donald gives positive Josh Maja update as confidence grows over new deal for Lynden Gooch

Sunderland are close to agreeing a new contract for Lynden Gooch.

Friday, 14th December 2018, 10:44 am
Updated Friday, 14th December 2018, 10:48 am
Lynden Gooch has been in outstanding form this season

The 22-year-old has been in stellar form this season, securing the second most assists in League One so far this season.

Talks have progressed well in recent weeks after Gooch made clear that he was eager to extend his stay on Wearside.

“The dialogue with Lynden as a club has been pretty good,” Ross the Northern Echo.

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“I would hope there would be positive news in that respect soon. That was probably the one Stewart was alluding to.

“There’s nothing concrete as yet. Lynden is another player that I am close to and he has been terrific for me this season. He genuinely loves this club and he has a real affinity with the club and area.

“He wants to grow with us, so I will be hopeful that in the near future there will be positive news on him.”

It has been something of a breakthrough season for Gooch, who impressed in patches last year without ever being able to cement a place.

There were some impressive performances playing just off the main striker for Simon Grayson, but it was not until Chris Coleman installed him as a winger later in the season that he began to thrive on a more regular basis.

Even then, the academy product dropped in an out of the side.

He has been a regular for Ross who is surprised at how little football he played last season.

"His commitment and his approach, not just his contribution in terms of goals and assists, which have been very good, but his overall levels have been very good and his desire to do well for the club is very evident," Ross said.

“He is an interesting one because Paul Walsh (sports scientist) gave me some minutes comparing this season and last to look at what we are loading on the players. The two that have played in significantly more minutes this season are Josh Maja and Lynden.

“Lynden is the one who has surprised me a little, I don’t know if he had injuries last season or through a lack of selection. The number of minutes he has played at this stage of the two seasons is way above, that’s testament to his performance levels. I think he is feeling the benefit of having that consistency of selection."

Sunderland are also hoping that Denver Hume and Maja will sign new deals ahead of the January transfer window.

Stewart Donald tweeted this morning that he is hopeful that there will be positive news on the 19-year-old's future soon.

"We are making progress," he said.

"Josh has said he wants to stay so we are just trying to finalise details. We all want it sorted soon and we will give an update before Christmas."

Concerns began to grow on Wearside in recent weeks with talks significantly slowing.

Jack Ross candidly admitted this week that he was hopeful of a quick resolution.

Maja would be free to talk to other clubs in January regarding a pre-contract agreement, which would leave Sunderland with a big call to make as to whether they try to cash in during the winter window.