Sunderland under-23 duo training with first-team squad as they bid to win new contracts
Sunderland under-23 duo Oliver Younger and Anthony Patterson have been training with the first-team squad this week – as they bid to earn an extended stay at the Stadium of Light.
Both players have regularly trained with the senior side this year and have been involved in League One and Papa John’s Trophy fixtures.
And they face a crucial few weeks as they bid to prove why they are worthy of a fresh contract on Wearside.
Younger, who joined the club from Burnley last summer, has impressed behind the scenes and has been involved in a number of match day squads following injuries to key centre backs.
The 21-year-old penned a one-year deal when he signed for the Black Cats last summer and will be hoping to be handed a fresh deal.
Patterson, meanwhile, also signed a one-year contract last summer – but The Echo understands that there is a one-year option to extend the stopper’s stay.
Both players will have a perfect chance to show why they should stay as they continue to train under the eye of head coach Lee Johnson and his staff ahead of the visit of Charlton Athletic this weekend.
They aren't the only under-23 players to have been involved in senior training this week, either.
Josh Hawkes and Dan Neil – both of whom remain under contract for the 2021/22 campaign – have both been involved in preparations for the visit of the Addicks.
Whether any of the quartet are involved on Saturday given the return of some of Sunderland’s senior players, remains to be seen.