Ethan Robson facing the biggest five months of his Sunderland career as Phil Parkinson weighs up midfield options
Ethan Robson was a man in demand on deadline day and now he’s facing the biggest five months of his Sunderland career.
The 23-year-old academy product came close to rejoining Grimsby Town on loan until the end of the season before the move dramatically collapsed in the final 24-hours of the window.
Sunderland boss Phil Parkinson instead opting to keep Robson at the Stadium of Light where the midfielder will now compete for a first team spot.
And the competition in the centre of midfield is fierce with Max Power and George Dobson the current first choice pairing, while January signing Josh Scowen builds his fitness.
Grant Leadbitter, who missed the trip to Portsmouth with a virus, hasn’t played for Sunderland since a late sub appearance in the 3-1 victory over Lincoln City at the start of January.
Opportunity knocks for Robson, especially with Dobson close to a two-game ban should he pick up two more bookings in the coming weeks.
Robson, who made 21 appearances and scored three goals during an impressive loan spell at Grimsby, has impressed in training.
And he even filled in at left wing-back during a training game at the Academy of Light.
Left-footed Robson offers a different midfield option. Robson will get a chance. And when it comes, he must be ready to grasp it.
Robson has always been highly regarded within the academy set-up but the midfielder isn’t a young prospect anymore.
At the age of 23, it is now time for him to kick on, establish himself and fulfil that promise.
He is desperate to break through and achieve that dream at Sunderland. It is a huge five months for Robson, one of several players who face an uncertain future.
And with the ownership issue at the club, there is unlikely to be any resolution to any of the contract conundrums facing the club in the coming weeks.
All Robson can do, therefore, is focus on his football, make an impression and help lead Sunderland back to the Championship.
First Houghton-born Robson, along with Scowen, have to prove to Parkinson they are better options than skipper Power and Dobson.