Sunderland take ex-Portsmouth midfielder on trial as summer rebuild gets underway

Sunderland Under-23s are to take former Portsmouth attacking midfielder Seok Jae Lee on trial this summer, ahead of a squad revamp.

Friday, 4th June 2021, 1:17 pm

The youngster came through the ranks at Fratton Park and it is reported he is to head to Wearside for a trial this summer, Lee made two first-team appearances off the bench in the Papa John's Trophy in the 2020-21 campaign.

The 17-year-old midfielder recently had a trial with Brentford and will now try and win a contract at Sunderland who would need to pay a compensation fee should he earn a contract.

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The News report: “The South Korean-born teenager was one of two players to be offered a new contract amid an academy player overhaul this summer.

“Lee was tabled third-year scholarship terms to remain at Fratton Park – along with Harrison Brook.

“However, both turned offers down and opted to depart Pompey.”

Sunderland Under-23s set for a revamp this summer

Under-23 coach Michael Proctor recently told the Echo there will be a natural evolution of the club’s second string this summer.

The Black Cats’ under-23 side came agonisingly close to gaining promotion to Premier League 2 Division 1, but lost out on penalties to Crystal Palace in the promotion play-off final.

Proctor and manager Elliott Dickman have already cast their eye over a number of trialists in recent weeks, with Tyrese Dyce, Tom Scott and Ethan Kachosa all involved across the play-off campaign.

"They’ve given everything this season,” he said of the current squad.

"They’ve stepped up to the plate. Some of those players unfortunately won’t be at the club next season, but still they gave everything they had.

"The difficulty with under-23 football is that every season is different, as we found out in the last couple of seasons.

"There will be a big transition and a lot of new players coming in.

"The ones who are coming in from outside the football club, we have to instil in them the values that we expect from a Sunderland player.

"If we show them a video of the play-off final, I’m sure that will show them everything they need to know about playing for this football club."

Under-23 departures

Earlier this week it was confirmed defender Brandon Taylor is one of six Sunderland youngsters who will leave.

Midfielder Jake Hackett, who has spent a number of years in the club's academy setup, is also set to leave the club.

Hackett made three appearances in the group stages of the Checkatrade Trophy campaign in 2018/19, and has been a regular in the U23 side since then.

Elsewhere, Ryan Wombwell and Bobby Beaumont will leave the club, with Wombwell agreeing a deal to join National League North side Gateshead.

Striker Lee Connelly, who spent much of the 2020/21 campaign on loan at Alloa Athletic, will also leave the club.

Striker Mitch Curry, who joined from Middlesbrough last summer and made his league debut against AFC Wimbledon at the Stadium of Light late last year, has already agreed a deal to join Inter Miami.

A club statement said: "We would like to place on record our thanks to all six players and wish them the best of luck in their future careers."

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