Loan interest in Sunderland youngsters ahead of new Championship campaign

Sunderland youngster Michael Ledger in action during a pre-season friendly against Livingston.
Sunderland youngster Michael Ledger in action during a pre-season friendly against Livingston.
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With so much work still to be done around incomings and outgoings, Simon Grayson’s new-look Sunderland team won’t be fully known until the end of the transfer window.

Lamine Kone, Wahbi Khazri and Jeremain Lens are all likely to leave before the window closes at the end of August while work continues to bolster the squad.

Grayson has signed Tyias Browning and Brendan Galloway on season-long loan deals with Aiden McGeady and James Vaughan joining on permanent deals.

At least one new goalkeeper, more strikers, defensive and midfield reinforcements are also needed as Sunderland gear up for life in the Championship.

Grayson has been keen to give youth its chance during pre-season with Josh Maja, in particular, and Joel Asoro catching the eye.

But what of the other younger players on the fringes, there is loan interest but who would benefit from a move?

Michael Ledger:

Ledger returned to Sunderland this summer following a successful spell on loan at Viking Stavanger in the Norwegian top flight.

Yet to start a pre-season game but he has featured against Bury and Livingston from the subs bench. Eager to press his claims for first team football, another loan spell would benefit Ledger if he can’t break into the team.

In his last year at Sunderland, Ledger needs to be playing first team football somewhere rather than Under-23 football in order to boost his development.

The Echo understands there is interest in him from Viking, German clubs – including Mainz – who scout the Norwegian league extensively plus interest from the Scottish Premiership and League One in England.

Tommy Robson:

Left-back Robson has struggled for game time this pre-season with Adam Matthews and Galloway ahead of him in the queue. The 21-year-old enjoyed a loan spell at Limerick last season, a move he spoke glowingly about regarding his development.

Also into his last year at Sunderland, Robson is another in need of regular first team football at a competitive level.

Rees Greenwood:

The winger has been a regular for the club’s Under-23 side for the past few seasons but is yet to break into the first team squad.

Last season George Honeyman and Lynden Gooch were regularly part of the matchday squads, opportunities will be greater this season in the Championship.

With Khazri and Lens likely to depart, Grayson will look to bring in pace and creativity in wide areas, with the club desperately shy of players with Championship experience.

Greenwood is likely to have to wait for his chance and he would benefit from a loan move.

Andrew Nelson:

The 19-year-old was sent out on loan to Hartlepool United last season but his spell was cut short by a serious knee injury.

Highly-rated by the club’s academy staff, fit-again Nelson is unlikely to break into the first team picture this season so would benefit from a short-term move.

The Echo understands there is interest in the forward from a number of Scottish Championship clubs, while a return to National League Pools may also appeal.