The Wolves verdict on Dion Sanderson and the current state of play with the Sunderland loanee amid permanent move rumours
Rumours of Sunderland making a permanent move for Dion Sanderson certainly got fans excited.
But while it’s a deal that would no doubt be a good one for the Black Cats, it will be a difficult one to seal.
We take a look at the stance of all three parties over a potential summer move for the youngster:
The Sunderland Verdict
Lee Johnson’s stance on the matter is quite clear.
He’s a big fan of Sanderson and has been impressed with his performances in recent weeks, and would be keen to sign the young defender were he to become available.
But at the moment, that’s certainly an ‘if’.
Speaking on Wednesday after rumours of interest in a permanent deal surfaced, Johnson said: “We love Dion and he's ours for the short term, but obviously part of our job is to help develop him for Wolves if they deem that they want him to stay on.
"We wish him all the best [with that] of course.
"Of course, if not, then a club like our would of course be interested in a young talent like Dion.”
The Wolves Verdict
Sanderson has been with Wolves since the age of eight and is a player well thought of at Molineux.
Indeed, he has already been handed first-team opportunities – both on pre-season tours to Asia and in the cup competitions - and has made a major impact in the under-23 side prior to his loan moves to both Cardiff and Sunderland.
It’s not just his undoubted quality as a player that has impressed the Premier League side, but his personality too.
As academy chief Scott Sellars noted in 2019: “You’re not going to make it as a professional footballer if you don’t strive to improve, and he’s also got the sort of personality we like, really hard working, determined and committed.
"They’re qualities we’re looking for in players, and qualities Nuno looks for; how players act on and off the pitch is important to him and us.”
Wolves’ belief in Sanderson’s potential was emphasised when they handed the central defender a new contract prior to his loan move to Wearside. That sees him tied-down to his boyhood club until the summer of 2022.
It looks unlikely that the Premier League side would be looking to sell this summer and, if they were, then a high fee would undoubtedly be required.
In Sanderson, they have a player who has already proven he can handle the rigours of senior football and fit into the club’s philosophy. That’s something they would be certainly be reluctant to lose.
The Player’s Verdict
Sanderson is known to be enjoying life in Sunderland. He has formed close some friendships and is determined to help the club to promotion this season (that much was evident in his celebration of Max Power’s goal in the win over Fleetwood on Tuesday).
But, publicly at least, the defender has made no secret of his desire to play for Wolves in the Premier League.
Speaking just last month, the youngster said: “I'm playing now and getting experience which is what I need - to get as much experience as I can.
"Hopefully I can achieve my goal of playing in the Premier League for my home club.”