Everything you need to know about Sunderland's three newest recruits

Sunderland have signed three youngsters to add to Elliot Dickman’s Under-23’s squad, but what do we know about the trio?

Thursday, 4th July 2019, 6:36 pm
Michael Collins in action as an Everton youngster.

First up, 20-year-old Algerian goalkeeper Ahmed Abdelkader.

Despite his formative years, the youngster has been around the block in search of success in his professional career.

Abdelkader has spent time at EA Guingamp, home to ex-Sunderland flops Didier Ndong and Papy Djilobodji in recent months.

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The stopper then went on to join NAD Polis Chrysochous in the Cypriot third tier, gaining some vital experience of senior football.

The Algerian also went on trial with Premier League Leicester City but failed to earn a permanent contract

It looks likely that Abdelkader will feature for Elliot Dickman’s under-23 side with the arrival of Lee Burge as second choice to Jon McLaughlin in Jack Ross first team.

Next, 18-year-old former Everton youngster Michael Collins.

Collins has spent the majority of his career with the Toffees having progressed through the ranks at Goodison Park.

The defender joined the club aged 14, after being spotted playing for Wirral Boys in the local leagues.

He initially joined the Premier League side as a striker, but was quickly converted to a left-sided defender - and is comfortable playing either at full-back or centre-half.

And Collins has been a regular for Everton’s under-18 side in recent years, but failed to make any sort of senior breakthrough.

The youngster was handed an opportunity with the Black Cats on a trial basis last season, Collins turned out for the club’s under-23 side against Southampton in heavy defeat.

Finally, 21-year-old ex-Chelsea youngster Ruben Sammut.

Sammut joined Chelsea at the age of eight and has played regularly for the Blues' youth teams throughout his time at the London club.

The youngster helped Chelsea win three consecutive FA Youth Cups from 2014 to 2016 whilst playing for the under-18s team - so possess big pedigree at youth level.

The midfielder has also featured for Scotland under-21s but is still eligible to play for England and Malta.

In 2017/18, Sammut was made captain of Chelsea's development squad team, before being loaned out to Falkirk in the summer of 2018, playing 15 games in the Scottish Championship.

And the versatile midfielder’s coach at Falkirk at the time, Paul Hartley, was glowing about the youngster’s potential in football.

Speaking after Sammut joined Falkirk he said: "Ruben has been brought through and trained at an elite level having been with Chelsea from such a young age.

"He has massive potential and I think the opportunity for him now to experience first-team football will be of huge benefit to all parties."