'We are keeping an eye on his game time': Sunderland coach explains youngster's situation and signing from Everton
Sunderland prospect Ellis Taylor will continue to train with the first team this season, while also playing matches for the under-23 side.
The 18-year-old winger helped the under-23 team reach the play-off final in Premier League 2, Division 2, last season and impressed with the senior group during pre-season.
Taylor is rated highly at the Academy of Light and has been tipped to have ‘a really bright future’ by sporting director Kristjaan Speakman.
The teenager made his senior debut in August’s EFL Cup win at Port Vale and has been working closely with the first-team set-up.
When asked about Taylor and other younger players who have been training with the senior group, Sunderland’s under-23s coach Elliot Dickman told the Echo: “There are a number of them that have been around the first team in pre-season which is a great experience for those lads.
“Ellis is doing smashing, he’s maybe a little bit short on game time so it’s important to get some minutes into his legs.
“The fact that he’s with the first team every day is good for his development but we do need to make sure we are keeping an eye on his game time and he’s getting some match minutes into his legs as well.”
Taylor played and scored for Sunderland’s under-23 side as they were beaten 4-3 by Norwich last time out.
Defender Oliver Younger is another player who has featured for the senior side, while the likes of Kenton Richardson, Benji Kimpioka, Sam Wilding and Tyrese Dyce trained with the first team over the summer.
"Ellis is training with the first team every day,” explained Dickman. “Ollie Younger is also around the first team.
“Anybody if they are needed on a daily basis it’s the manager’s prerogative. If he wants all the players he’ll take them, if he only needs a handful he’ll take a handful.
“It’s discussed on a daily basis and if the lads go across there they’ve got to try to impress.
“That’s part of the club, the manager will let us know every day what he wants and things like that. It’s not just this manager, it’s how it’s been with every manager as far as I’m aware.”
Sunderland have also signed goalkeeper Jack McIntyre, 18, after the player was released by Everton this summer.
The plan is for McIntyre to be part of the under-23s set-up along with fellow stopper Jacob Carney, 20, who arrived from Manchester United in July.
“Jack has joined us from Everton and will be part of what we’re doing with the 23s, with Jacob,” said Dickman.
“On certain days the first team like a certain amount of goalkeepers across there so he might help support that.
“If he’s not needed across there to support what they’re doing then he’ll be training with us.
“He’s come in to be around us and help us so it’s an opportunity for him and a second chance. He’s come from Everton where he didn’t get offered anything and we are giving him an opportunity.
“We have to make sure he works hard and takes that opportunity.”