Connor Pye: Who is Sunderland target and what has the ex-Everton-linked defender said about his Morecambe future?
Morecambe youngster Connor Pye has emerged as a transfer target for Sunderland.
The report states that Pye has been attracting attention from clubs in the Premier League and Championship, but it’s the Black Cats who are seemingly in pole-position for his signature.
But just who is he, what could Pye bring to Sunderland and why has he been likened to Liverpool star Andrew Robertson?
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Who is Connor Pye?
After coming through the ranks at Wigan Athletic, Pye currently plays for League One side Morecambe.
Although he has made just one senior appearance for the Shrimpers, he signed a professional contract with the club in January 2022 and hopes are high for the player who won their Under-17’s Player of the Season award during his debut campaign.
Pye was a favourite of former Morecambe boss Stephen Robinson who handed him his senior debut against Hartlepool United in a group stage Papa John’s Trophy clash last season.
However, Pye has yet to feature for the first-team since Derek Adams’ appointment in February.
He is a versatile player who can play at left-back or in midfield.
Is Pye available for transfer?
Despite Morecambe having high hopes for Pye, he has been made available for transfer this summer.
Derek Adams revealed in May that budget restraints were the reasons for his transfer-listing. Adams said: “The difficulty for Connor Pye is he’s not going to find himself in my first-team squad.
“He’s got two years to run on a contract but, budget-wise, the circumstances are difficult.”
Even before his transfer-listing, there was plenty of transfer interest in Pye, with Everton one of the sides that have previously been credited with an interest in the 18-year-old.
A report in October last year suggested that Everton were ‘monitoring’ his progress and saw him as an ideal replacement for their academy star Thierry Small who had moved to Southampton.
Andrew Robertson comparisons
As mentioned, Pye made his senior bow in the EFL Trophy against Hartlepool United last October.
Pye played 74 minutes as Morecambe drew 2-2 with the side a division below them, before being defeated 4-2 on penalties at the Suit Direct Stadium.
Although he featured in midfield that day, his ‘rampaging and energetic’ display saw him likened to Liverpool’s Andrew Robertson.
What has Pye said about his future?
After signing his first professional deal with the club in January, Pye said: "I'm delighted, it's something I always dreamt of as a kid.”
"It's good to finally get it done and over with, and it's now time to crack on and work hard in training.
"The gaffer put a lot of trust in me and I'm really thankful for everything he's done for me, I'm just really proud of what I've achieved so far and long may it continue as well."
Then Shrimpers boss Stephen Robinson said: "He's a good kid who has worked hard ever since I arrived at the club and has done well to take the opportunities we've provided.
"It's a big step up from the Academy to a First Team environment and Connor is under no illusion that he has a lot of hard work ahead."