Sunderland coach eyeing Premier League youngsters after successful summer signings

Sunderland Under-23 coach Elliott Dickman has hinted that the Black Cats are eyeing deals for more Premier League youngsters this season - after some successful signings last summer.

Friday, 14th June 2019, 5:00 am
Updated Friday, 14th June 2019, 7:00 am

Last summer saw the club’s second string sign Jack Bainbridge and Jordan Hunter after they left higher-division clubs, and a similar recruitment strategy could be in force this summer.

Dickman’s side finished rock-bottom of the second tier of Premier League 2 last season, but results only told part of the story in a campaign which saw a number of youngsters saw feature in Jack Ross’ first team.

Indeed, both Bainbridge and Hunter have already shown signs of development during their time on Wearside and were handed opportunities in the Checkatrade Trophy earlier this term.

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Jordan Hunter proved a successful signing for Sunderland last season

More could now follow suit, with Dickman hinting that more former top-flight youngsters could be set to bolster his youthful squad.

Bainbridge, formerly of Everton and Swansea, and ex-Liverpool youngster Hunter are two of the more senior players in what is a youthful side.

And while they both look set to form part of the under-23 side again next season, they may be joined by some more senior counterparts - although Dickman insists that no concrete targets have been identified as of yet.

But no deals will come at the expense of the current crop - with the 40-year-old keen to ensure that the club’s youngsters continue their own development in what will be an ‘important’ season for their careers.

“I think you’re always looking to try and develop and improve what you’ve got,” said Dickman, when asked if Sunderland could turn to released Premier League youngsters.

“The lads we have here are young, we’ve said they’re young all season, and if they’re going to be here next season then it’s going to be an important season for them.

“There might be one or two new additions, but obviously there is nothing concrete as of yet in terms of names or anybody we want to bring in.

“But we’re really just focusing on what we have here and making sure these lads keep developing and keep improving.”