Who is Sam Smart? The impressive Sunderland triallist on the radar of Sheffield Wednesday
Sunderland fielded triallist Sam Smart against Middlesbrough yesterday evening, and it's fair to say the youngster made an impression.
On a night which saw Duncan Watmore make his long-awaited return from injury, many were left impressed by Smart's display in midfield.
But who is the youngster bidding to win a deal at the Academy of Light?
Here's everything you need to know about the Black Cats' latest triallist:
Position: Attacking midfielder or forward
Current club: Basingstoke Town
Where has he played before?
Smart has spent his entire career to date at Basingstoke Town, having progressed through the youth ranks of his local side.
He now features for the first team side in the Southern League Premier Division - four tiers below Sunderland.
Indeed, it was only last season where the youngster saw regular first team football - and he made sure he grasped the opportunity with both hands.
Having netted 20 goals and provided 28 assists in 41 games during the 2017/18 campaign, it's no surprise to see Smart attracting interest this year.
Last season also saw the attacking midfielder handed a call-up to the England C, squad where he has made a single appearance.
What type of player is he?
Attack-minded and creative, Smart is certainly an entertaining watch.
His youth naturally means he is lively, and his ability to create and convert chances in and around the area makes him a real threat.
Why are Sunderland interested in him?
The Black Cats showed over the summer that they were keen to strengthen their under-23 ranks.
Jack Bainbridge and Jordan Hunter, among others, joined Elliott Dickman's side - so could Smart follow a similar path?
It may well be that the Black Cats see the Basingstoke man as a promising youngster who could flourish in their set-up.
Who else is interested in him?
Reports over the summer claimed that Sheffield Wednesday were keen on Smart.
It was reported that the attacking midfielder underwent a trial at Hillsborough and is very much on the Owls' radar.
How did he play against Middlesbrough?
Smart featured for an hour against Boro last night and it was he who won the Black Cats a penalty - which was ultimately missed by Watmore.
Our Sunderland writer Phil Smith described it as a 'moment of superb individual skill ' and fans too were left impressed with Smart's display.
Playing wide on the right, Smart wasn't afraid to take players on and the Black Cats scarcely threatened once he and Watmore were withdrawn after an hour.
It was an impressive performance, but it remains to be seen whether Smart's future lies at the Stadium of Light.