Sunderland boss open to making a defensive addition but impressive youngster gives him food for thought
David Edgar is set to link up with Sunderland for a trial next week, with Jack Ross admitting that he is open to a defensive addition.
The former Newcastle United and Burnley defender is currently available on a free, most recently playing for Ottawa Fury in the MLS.
It is the second time the Black Cats have taken a defender on trial since the summer window shut, with former Marseille man Gael Andonian also spending a short time on Wearside.
Ross has no urgent need to add to his squad but admits that recent injuries have left him a little stretched at the back.
“Yes and no [need to add cover].
“It’s maybe more about a bit of versatility defensively.
“Donald [Love] is out for a while, Denver [Hume] is out for a while.
“We could maybe do with one who could play across the defensive positions.
“But it’s not anything urgent.
“It’s more, there are times when you’re able to look at a player and it doesn’t cost you anything.
“I’m always open to that, the way my own career went, I’m quite open-minded that way.
“Sometimes you just get blown away by someone you didn’t expect.
“You wouldn’t do it for the sake of it, if you had ten centre-forwards it would pointless taking one [on trial].
“Usually, though, I’d be happy to take a look at someone.”
Finding a time to take a good look at Edgar has proved to be a challenge but the 31-year-old could spend some time training with the group after the clash with Accrington Stanley this weekend.
“I think we’re going to take a look at him next week.
“It’s a bit challenging at the moment because of the schedule, that’s why I was a bit reticent to commit.
“To be fair to the player as well, we’re not training an awful lot at the moment [due to games].
“Even when we are, we’re split a lot with smaller numbers because we’re trying to juggle groups, so it can be hard to get a proper feel [for a player].
“We’ll try to take a look next week.”
Despite seeing his defensive options taking a hit with those injuries to Love and Hume, Ross has been encouraged by the emergence of Jack Bainbridge.
Bainbridge, who joined the academy set up in the summer after spells at Everton and Swansea City, has impressed in two Checkatrade Trophy appearances.
The 20-year-old, like many other youngsters at the club, trains with the first team every Thursday but Ross admits he now has ‘food for thought’ as he continued to make an impact.
“I said it post-match, his emergence over the last couple of months has been really good,” Ross said.
“Again, about taking opportunities, against Morecambe and the other night, he couldn’t have done anything more.
“He’s aggressive, which is not always the case with younger centre-halves nowadays.
“He is composed, he understands the game well enough.
“He’s also 20, so he’s at an age where he should be doing that, and I mean that in the nicest possible way.
“He’s not 17, he needs to be able to show that but to his credit he has done.
“He’s given me food for thought in that respect, which is good, you want that, someone to emerge from your academy when maybe you didn’t expect it.”