Jason Steele in profile: Who is Sunderland's goalkeeper target?

Jason Steele
Jason Steele
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Sunderland look set to complete the signing of goalkeeper Jason Steele from Blackburn with the 26-year-old on Wearside this afternoon to complete his medical.

Manager Simon Grayson is still searching for a number one shot stopper following the departures of Jordan Pickford and Vito Mannone earlier in the transfer window.

Steele will certainly bring plenty of experience to the role, having made over 200 Championship appearances for Middlesbrough and Blackburn.

But what can Sunderland fans expect from the keeper?

Here’s a look back at Steele’s career so far and what some of his previous managers have said about him.

Where he’s been

Highly-rated as a youngster, Steele came through the youth academy at Middlesbrough before signing his first professional contact in 2009.

After a brief loan spell at Northampton, the Newton Aycliffe-born keeper made his debut for Boro in a 2-1 League Cup victory over Chesterfield a year later.

Following the departures of Brad Jones and Ross Turnbull, Steele - still only 20 - became Boro’s first choice keeper for the 2010/11 campaign.

Steele kept the number one jersey the following season when Tony Mowbray took charge at the Riverside.

A couple of months later, Steele was called up to Stuart Pearce’s 2012 Olympic side, despite being second choice to Jack Butland.

The young stopper also earned seven caps for England’s Under 21s between 2010 and 2013 After three solid seasons in the Championship with Boro, Steele lost his place under Aitor Karanka following an ankle injury.

With his opportunities limited under the Spaniard, Steele joined Blackburn on loan in 2014 in the hope of playing first team football.

The following season, Steele’s 12 year spell in the North East came to an end when he joined Blackburn permanently.

After joining Rovers, Steele told BBC Radio Lancashire that the deal was “still a bit raw.”

Nevertheless, Steele has been the number one at Ewood Park for the last three seasons in the Championship, racking up over 100 appearances for Blackburn in all competitions.

What’s been said about him

Tony Mowbray was a big admirer of Steele and was full of praise for the young keeper following the manager’s first season at the Riverside.

"Jason's form has been magnificent all season. In my time here I've heard the murmurings but you've got to give young goalkeepers opportunities to play," Mowbray said in 2012.

"I think he's doing exceptionally well. He's a big, big talent and his personality's great for the job and he's going to be very important for us."

Despite allowing the keeper to leave the Riverside, Karanka said that Steele was "unlucky" that his Boro career ended so suddenly.

"He got sent off in the first game and in the following week he had an operation," said Karanka in 2015.

"Then he was injured, and I didn’t want to (keep) a player at the club who has potential but wasn’t playing.

"He’s a good goalkeeper, so for that reason he decided to leave and we all felt it was the best decision for everybody."