SUNDERLAND will consider sending the younger members of their summer spending spree out on loan in January after limited first-team action at the Stadium of Light.
The Black Cats had an eye to the future when they brought 14 players to Wearside during the summer, with El-Hadji Ba, 20, and Charis Mavrias, David Moberg Karlsson and Duncan Watmore, all 19, arriving.
Sunderland earmarked Ba, Moberg Karlsson and particularly Greek winger Mavrias, to flirt between the Under-21 squad and the first-team this season.
But none of them have featured for the Premier League’s basement boys since the arrival of Gus Poyet as head coach.
Mavrias made five appearances at the start of the season, including his full top flight debut in September’s defeat to Arsenal, while Moberg Karlsson’s only first-team game came in August’s Capital One Cup victory over MK Dons.
Ba is yet to make his Sunderland debut and so is Watmore, although the former Altrincham man has impressed for Kevin Ball’s U21 side.
Poyet wants to blood the youngsters in gradually, but realises it is tough to be thrown into the thick of a relegation battle and could give the go-ahead for them to get first-team action on loan in the January transfer window.
“It’s a difficult one for them and it’s something we’re working on,” he told the Echo.
“It’s not only those names, we’re looking at the whole picture.
“I would love to be in a better situation for them to be in and out of the team.
“But to throw them in without any experience is hard.
“There are some characters there and they might do something you don’t expect.
“But at the right time, I’ll either to look to use them in the cup or maybe send them out on loan.”
Mavrias, Ba and Watmore all featured for the U21s in a 5-0 friendly victory over Gateshead earlier this week, as Sunderland try to keep their youngsters active over the festive period.
Ball’s side are in the middle of more than a month without a game in the U21 Premier League and Poyet admits it’s a fine line between rookies developing at Sunderland and having to leave on loan just to play competitively.
“There are games in the Under-21s which you want them with you for,” added Poyet.
“But because there are not that many games, you want them to play proper football.
“Sometimes, you have to look at the fixtures.
“You can’t always do what is perfect, but we’re working on it.”