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Chris Young column - Sunderland winger needs new challenge in January

Charis Mavrias
Charis Mavrias
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ONE OPTION which hasn’t been explored this season to augment Sunderland’s goal threat is Charis Mavrias.

The Greek arrived on Wearside with a big reputation after becoming the second youngest player to ever appear in the Champions League, but so far, he has stayed true to the pattern of failure from Roberto De Fanti’s other recruits.

Even after his enthusiasm shone during pre-season, Mavrias is yet to appear in the Premier League under Gus Poyet.

That’s perhaps been surprising. Using an unknown in the latter stages of a goalless draw may not have been the worst idea in the world.

Certainly, had Sunderland been relegated into the Championship last May, then Mavrias would have emerged as a key figure.

But now, with 18 months remaining on the 20-year-old’s contract, Sunderland have to let him depart in the January transfer window – either on loan or permanently.

At the moment, his career is simply stagnating and that’s not doing either him or Sunderland any favours at such a critical age.

A return to boyhood club Panathinaikos – desperate to re-sign him – wouldn’t necessarily be a progressive step, but after a year-and-a-half of minimal action at the Stadium of Light, Mavrias’ future cannot be allowed to simply drift.