Why loanee didn't return to Everton and why he still has a future at Sunderland

Chris Coleman admits he is surprised Everton did not bring an early end to Brendan Galloway's loan last month, but has no problems with the 21-year-old as he tries to fight his way into the first team picture.
Sunderlands Brendan Galloway and Leeds Uniteds Ezgjan Alioski battle for the ball earlier in the season.Sunderlands Brendan Galloway and Leeds Uniteds Ezgjan Alioski battle for the ball earlier in the season.
Sunderlands Brendan Galloway and Leeds Uniteds Ezgjan Alioski battle for the ball earlier in the season.

Galloway was one of the club’s first summer signings and a deal that looked to be something of a coup for then manager Simon Grayson.

The former England youth international had burst onto the scene at Goodison Park, but a loan move to West Brom last season did not work out, the left-back completely out of the picture under Tony Pulis.

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His situation now is much the same, having not played since a ten-minute cameo in the 0-0 draw with Wolves on December 9.

That was just his second appearance under Coleman, who admits Galloway is struggling at a ‘critical’ stage of his career.

The Sunderland boss is not ruling out a return, however, knowing that he is just an injury or two away from coming back into the fold.

Coleman said: “Brendan is a lovely kid and he has been working hard, but he has lacked game time.

“He’s here to get game time and he is not getting it.

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“You don’t want to waste the boy’s time, it is a critical stage for him.

“We thought maybe Everton would want to take him back, maybe loan him out somewhere else – even in the division below – but that wasn’t the case.

“So Brendan is still here and I’m happy, and he is a cracking boy.

“Who knows, we may need to call on him yet, he’s been working really hard in training the last couple of weeks and looked OK.”

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Galloway’s task has of course been made even greater by Sunderland’s deadline day business, which has left Coleman with seven loanees on his books. Only five can be named in any one matchday squad.

The left-back is clearly the one currently set to miss out, but Coleman does believe the natural toil of the Championship will create opportunities.

He said: “Of course we now have seven loanees in the building and we can only pick five at once. Someone will be disappointed of course.

“Brendan hasn’t been involved much and Jonny Williams is just coming back from injury.

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“I’d rather have this situation than be struggling for numbers. Football being as it is and this league being as it is anyway, there’s always injuries and the like.”

Galloway had been strongly linked with a move to MK Dons, the club where he first broke through.

Dons boss Dan Miccichie admitted that there is a long-term interest, but ultimately decided to prioritise other positions. He had also been interest in former player Tom Flanagan, currently at Burton Albion.

He said: “I’m not naive. It was head ruling over heart. Tom and Brendan have played a huge part at this club, but we’ll see what happens in the future.

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“As it was, we didn’t need to strengthen there – we have more than enough cover.

“Tom we didn’t go for. We spoke about Brendan, but that is maybe one we’ll look at in the future.

“I’ve worked with him here and with England. But he’s with another club at the moment, so that’s one we’ll look at at some point.”