Everything you need to know about Sunderland's latest target George Dobson
Sunderland had a bid turned down for Walsall midfielder George Dobson yesterday - but what do we know about the youngster?
Reported fee: 200-300k
What’s his background?
Dobson started his career as a youth player at Arsenal aged 8 before joining West Ham.
Aged just 17, Dobson was placed straight into the club's under-21 side and played frequently during the 2015–16 season.
At Arsenal, Dobson was deployed as a centre-back - however, upon his move to West Ham, the club converted him into a central midfielder. In 2016, Dobson signed for League One side Walsall on a season-long loan, making his debut in the EFL Cup in against Yeovil Town.
A year later, Dobson announced he had signed for Eredivisie side Sparta Rotterdam but the midfielder re-joined Walsall on a two-and-a-half-year contract in January.
What would he bring to Sunderland?
Youth, midfield depth, versatility and leadership - at just 21-years-old, Dobson is Walsall’s captain.
Haven’t Sunderland got enough central midfielders?
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The departure of Lee Cattermole and having like-for-like players such as Dylan McGeouch and Grant Leadbitter in the squad, Sunderland could do with legs in the middle of the park.
However, many fans had hoped this would be provided from current Sunderland fan favourite Luke O’Nien, who was deployed as a right-back last campaign despite his natural position being in midfield.
What type of midfield player is he?
Dobson is a box-to-box type midfielder who displays a tremendous amount of work rate and endurance. He never stops running, has the ability to tackle strongly and has a tidy range range of passing.
Walsall’s captain should probably score more given the positions he gets himself into but was the star man in a team relegated to League Two last season.
What sort of mentality does he have?
Dobson seems to be a strong personality, who isn’t afraid to lead despite his formative years.
Speaking during a difficult campaign last year, Dobson offered his thoughts:
“If the performance is there, it’s more than likely that the result is going to follow and that is all we are going to focus on at the moment.
“We need to stop focusing on the other teams around us and we need to focus on what we are good at and what we can do to put our game onto them,” he concluded.
So, the youngster certainly seems to be modelled in the hard-working role Sunderland fans expect from a player.