Who is Ruben Sammut? The Chelsea youngster on trial at Sunderland
Sunderland have taken Chelsea youngster Ruben Sammut on trial - but who is he?
The 21-year-old played the full 90 minutes for the Black Cats' under-23 side last night, during a 3-1 defeat to Stoke in the Premier League Cup.
We take a closer look at the Blues midfielder and what the chances are of Sunderland signing him.
What's his background?
Sammut joined Chelsea at the age of eight and has played regularly for the Blues' youth teams throughout his time at the club.
When playing for the under-18s team, Sammut helped Chelsea win three consecutive FA Youth Cups from 2014 to 2016.
At the same time, the midfielder made his debut for Scotland Under-21s, and is still eligible to play for England and Malta.
In 2017/18, Sammut was made captain of Chelsea's development squad team, before being loaned out to Falkirk in the summer of 2018.
Sammut played 15 games in the Scottish Championship and was offered a new deal at Chelsea which will run until the end of this season.
What type of player is he?
On Chelsea's website Sammut is described as a versatile midfielder who can also be utilised in defence.
Against Stoke, the 21-year-old was deployed as a central midfielder in a 4-2-3-1 formation, alongside Daniel Neil.
After a quiet first half, Sammut saw more of the ball in the second 45 minutes and played some neat passes in the middle of the park.
Against a powerful Potters side, Sunderland struggled to create chances throughout the contest, with most of Sammut's touches coming inside his own half.
What others have said about him
Sammut impressed Sunderland's academy coaches after playing against the Black Cats twice in Premier League 2 last season.
When asked about the midfielder's performance after the Stoke defeat, Sunderland Under-23s boss Elliott Dickman told the Echo: "It’s always difficult for anybody going into any football club on trial, getting to know the lads, getting to know how we play.
"He’s obviously got a good pedigree behind him, I think we noticed him a bit more in the second half than in the first half.
"I think he contributed to us being a bit more on the front foot so he as well as everyone else in the second half played their part.
After Sammut joined Falkirk on loan last season, Paul Hartley, the Bairns manager at the time, said: "Ruben has been brought through and trained at an elite level having been with Chelsea from such a young age.
"He has massive potential and I think the opportunity for him now to experience first-team football will be of huge benefit to all parties."
What are the chances of Sunderland signing him?
Sunderland's under-23 side face a trip to Aston Villa in Premier League 2, Division 2 on March 4.
Sammut is likely to feature at the Banks Stadium before a decision is made regarding his future.