Lee Johnson is going to have plenty of big decisions to make ahead of the new season.
Pre-season at the Stadium Of Light will be spent with the head coach casting his eye over the squad and looking to find the best blend of players to help the club to secure promotion to the Championship next term.
One player who will be a key consideration is Anthony Patterson.
Reports from the Sunderland Echo have suggested that the 21-year-old goalkeeper is attracting loan interest from League Two after a thoroughly impressive campaign for Sunderland’s under-23s side.
With a potential route into the first team fold at stake it means that deciding the stopper’s future will be a real dilemma for Johnson and the player himself to solve.
Here are two pros and two cons to Patterson leaving Wearside on a short-term basis.
Pro – Regular first team football
It goes without saying that the lure of first team football is a big positive.
Anthony Patterson has been excellent at under-23 level but as we know it really doesn’t compare to the demands of playing senior-level football.
At 21 years of age the goalkeeper needs to be playing first team football and a loan move away will arguably offer him the biggest guarantee of getting some EFL gametime under his belt next term.
Pro – The chance to mature on and off the pitch
As well as getting chance to perform on the pitch a loan move away could be the making of Anthony Patterson as a person.
Players can get too comfortable in their own surroundings and so by moving away from Wearside to a new club, a new location and surrounding himself with new people, he could really grow in confidence.
If that was to happen the Patterson would surely come back to Sunderland as a more well-rounded individual who was ready to really challenge for the number one jersey.
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Con – Leaving Sunderland short of options
If Anthony Patterson was to leave then it could leave Lee Johnson in a bit of a pickle.
With Remi Matthews moving on it means that the 21-year-old is currently the second choice goalkeeper at the Stadium Of Light.
There’s nothing to suggest that the club won’t enter the transfer market for another option at first team level, but if Patterson does leave on loan then it could mean that Lee Johnson is a little bit light in that area.
Con – Fans won’t be pleased
If Anthony Patterson was to leave on loan then I think that supporters would be a tad unhappy.
Plenty are calling for the 21-year-old to be given a real opportunity in Lee Johnson’s side next term as they see him as the club’s future number one stopper.
If he left the club on loan then it could prove to be a decision that supporters aren’t too happy about and in turn that could lead to some negative feedback.