Phil Parkinson reacts to Manchester United deal and discusses Sunderland's academy set-up

Phil Parkinson hopes that Sunderland can improve their academy set-up in order to keep their best young talent.

Thursday, 23rd January 2020, 4:45 pm
Sunderland boss Phil Parkinson.

The Black Cats look set to lose highly-rated teenager Logan Pye, 16, to Manchester United following long-standing interest in the player.

When asked about the situation ahead of Friday’s Championship meeting against Doncaster, Parkinson said: “That decision is obviously out of my hands but ideally the club want to keep their best young players but circumstances arrive which is taken away from our control.

“I'm not sure that deal has been done yet but I know there's a possibility that could happen."

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Pye wouldn’t be the first player to leave Sunderland before signing a professional contract at the Academy of Light.

Since Sunderland were relegated to League One, forward Sam Greenwood has signed for Arsenal, Luca Stephenson has joined Liverpool while goalkeeper Luke Hewitson, among others, have also left the club.

Parkinson is well aware that Premier League clubs are on the lookout for young talent all the time, but hopes the situation can change.

“You know all the time that the big clubs are watching young players at all clubs,” added the Sunderland boss.

“We want to get into a situation where we are looking at other club’s young players and bringing them to our academy, that’s the ideal scenario and what we have to work towards as a club.”

Parkinson also recognises the club’s youth teams have struggled in recent seasons but knows the importance of Sunderland’s academy.

“The academy are playing category one academy, playing the top level academies around the country and they have found it tough,” he said.

“The ideal situation is for us to strengthen the quality across all age groups and our academy director is working towards that.

“Obviously finances dictate but that is what the club has got to work to because the supply line to the first team is so important.

“If you look at the moment with Denver Hume and Lynden Gooch doing so well and how much our fans embrace their young players on the pitch it is so important for the future of the club.”