Phil Parkinson's intriguing response to questions on Ethan Robson's Sunderland future
Phil Parkinson says he will only allow Ethan Robson to leave on loan this week if he can bring in adequate cover.
Robson returned from a successful loan at Grimsby Town at the beginning of this month in order to prove he has a first-team future.
The 23-year-old is out of contract in the summer and has made a positive impression on Phil Parkinson in training.
The arrival of Josh Scowen, however, has increased the competition for places in central midfield further.
Interestingly, Parkinson has revealed that Robson was tested at wing-back during a behind-closer-doors friendly at the Academy of Light last Saturday.
It is a position where he is light on bodies and is looking to recruit before the transfer window shuts.
However, potential deals hang in the balance, with the parent club of one loan target insisting that the player signs a new contract before allowing him to seal a move.
Another target is the subject of significant interest from the Championship.
“Ethan is with us at the moment,” Parkinson said.
“We looked at him as a left wing-back in training on Saturday, because he's played wide left in his career before.
“He did great and got a goal.
“He wants to play, but equally we couldn’t let a loan happen unless we've got that cover.”
Robson will most likely head back to League Two, with Grimsby at the front of the queue to take him back.
“There's a few clubs who have asked about him,” Parkinson said.
“Grimsby of course are one, and there's been a couple of others.”