SUNDERLAND teenager Duncan Watmore is in high demand, with a queue of Football League clubs lining up to take the forward on loan.
Watmore has impressed for Sunderland’s Under-21 side this season after arriving from non-league Altrincham during the summer.
The 19-year-old was handed his first-team bow in the FA Cup third round victory over Carlisle and stood out on that stage too after being introduced from the bench during the second half.
That form has not gone unnoticed with a string of clubs in the lower leagues looking to seal a loan deal for Watmore before the end of the January transfer window.
Watmore’s suitors are thought to include League One pair Hartlepool United and Carlisle United, with their respective managers Colin Cooper and Graham Kavanagh both at Monday night’s U21 clash against Stoke City.
But Sunderland are yet to decide whether to sanction Watmore’s loan or continue his development at the Stadium of Light.
Certainly, Watmore’s game has benefited from six months on Wearside and the wideman has spent time training with the first-team squad over the festive period.
Yet the Black Cats remain firm advocates of the loan system after the likes of Jordan Henderson and Jack Colback have both made the grade in the first-team following spells in the Football League.
Watmore is not the only member of Kevin Ball’s development squad to be in demand. Midfielder Liam Agnew and striker Mikael Mandron joined Boston United and Fleetwood Town on loan respectively last weekend.
And it is understood that Scottish Championship side Dundee are interested in attacking midfielder George Honeyman after the 19-year-old impressed in a behind-closed-doors friendly with Hearts last week.
Dundee were also impressed by summer signing David Moberg Karlsson, who has dropped completely out of first-team contention over recent months.
The Scottish side would have to rely on Sunderland heavily-subsidising Moberg Karlsson’s wages though if he were to join them on loan after the Swedish winger’s £1.5million summer arrival from IFK Gothenburg.