What Sunderland boss Lee Johnson has said about 'exciting' Denver Hume amid Middlesbrough transfer rumours
Sunderland boss Lee Johnson believes Denver Hume is an ‘exciting project’ – with the full-back currently mulling over a contract offer.
The 22-year-old was one of four players offered fresh terms by the Black Cats following the conclusion of the 2020/21 season.
The academy graduate missed large chunks of the season through injury but caught the eye of Johnson behind the scenes and when he did take to the field.
However, Hume’s progress has not gone unnoticed and recent reports have suggested that Middlesbrough are once again keeping tabs on the left-sided defender.
But Johnson’s view is clear – he believes he and coaching staff can help the youngster improve even further.
“I think what he hasn't got me and my staff can coach,” said Johnson, speaking during his recent appearance on the #SAFCUnfiltered podcast.
“I think what he has got is difficult to coach. Denver Hume for me, is quite an exciting project - as long as his attitude is good, he stays fit and we work with him on the training ground.
“There's various parts to his game that when I was assessing the Sunderland squad and looking at areas, he's one that I thought 'okay, we can definitely raise the value of'.
“That doesn't necessarily mean in a monetary sense, that could mean raise the value of their actions and therefore they have more input into the game and therefore more output in terms of results.”
Hume joins Charlie Wyke, Aiden McGeady and Luke O’Nien in discussions over their futures at the club.
All four players have reportedly been drawing admiring glances from elsewhere, with O’Nien and Wyke in particular thought to have Championship suitors.
Sporting director Kristjaan Speakman recently said that the club would look to ‘reduce the timeline’ on discussions as much as possible.
"It's going to be a piece of work which we want to try and reduce the timeline as quick as possible and therefore is helps us on our platform for where we're going and who we might be looking at in the future months,” he said.
"We feel they can all contribute to the Sunderland of the future, and therefore hopefully we'll be able to get them over the line.”