Sunderland AFC news: David Moyes scouts target, praise for promising Cats striker, relegation rivals Boro host Arsenal

Sunderland manager David Moyes
Sunderland manager David Moyes
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Promising Sunderland striker Joel Asoro has won praise from manager David Moyes following his European Golden Boy nomination.

The 17-year-old burst onto the scene at the start of the season following an impressive pre-season and has performed consistently for the Under-23 side this season.

Asoro has stiff competition to win the award, though, with Manchester United's Marcus Rashford, Manchester City's Gabriel Jesus and Everton's Tom Davies also in the running.

Moyes said: "Joel has got potential and he is very young.

"He is 18 this week and he is someone who we introduced into the first-team set-up during pre-season because of numbers but he made a big impact.

"Like all young players their development can be up and down.

"There have been parts of this season when he has been good and bits of the season when he has dipped.

"But with his age he is doing really well and his development is coming on nicely and we hope we can continue that."

Conducted by Italian publication Tuttosport, the winner is voted for by journalists across Europe

Previous winners include Paul Pogba and five-time Fifa Ballon D'or winner Lionel Messi.

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Meanwhile, Southampton striker Sam Gallagher, currently on loan at Championship side Blackburn Rovers, remains a summer transfer target for the Black Cats.

Sunderland have scouted the 21-year-old striker on several occasions this season, with Moyes understood to have watched him in action for Blackburn against Bristol City at Ewood Park on Easter Monday.

Gallagher has scored 11 goals in all competitions this season.

As well as playing as a striker, 6ft 4ins Gallagher is also comfortable playing either side of the main striker.

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And finally, Sunderland's relegation rivals Middlesbrough host Arsenal at the Riverside Stadium tonight (KO 8pm).

Boro are a place and three points above Sunderland, who are nine points adrift of safety, in the table ahead of the clash with the Gunners.

Steve Agnew's side are Sunderland's next opponents, with the Black Cats travelling to Teesside a week on Wednesday for a huge game at the foot of the Premier League.