Exclusive: Sunderland defender hints at loan exit as big contract decision looms
Sunderland defender Jack Bainbridge has revealed that he would be interested in a loan exit this month - but that his long-term focus remains on the Black Cats.
The former Everton defender has been a regular for the under-23 side this term, and captained the team to their first victory of the season against Huddersfield Town on Monday evening.
And he is understood to be one of a number of players who could be in-line for a loan move this month, should a suitable offer be presented.
That’s an opportunity Bainbridge would be keen to take.
“Definitely,” he responded, when asked by the Echo if he would be interested in a loan move this month.
“I’m at an age now where I need to play first-team football, so I would be interested in a loan if I can’t get first-team football here.”
“The short-term is that I just want to win games with the under-23s and get us enjoying football,” he continued.
“But in the long-term, maybe I can push for first-team football here - or if not, maybe I can go out on loan and go somewhere else to play first-team football.
“I just want to enjoy my football and have a good career, really.”
Bainbridge has already had a taste of first-team football this term, featuring for an injury-ravaged Sunderland during their FA Cup exit at Gillingham.
It’s an experience the centre back relished - and one he hopes will have caught the eye of Phil Parkinson, especially given his current contract is set to expire in the summer.
“It was great, to be fair,” he said of the appearance.
“I played in the Checkatrade last year but to play in a proper, competitive first-team game was good.
“I only got half an hour, but to make my debut properly was good.
“He [Parkinson] just said before it that I deserved to be here, and to go on and enjoy it.
“Obviously the first-team are doing well now, and I just want to see Sunderland do well.”