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Alex Neil gives his verdict on 26-year-old as Sunderland seal fresh player agreement

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Following their promotion via the play-offs last season, Sunderland are now looking ahead to next season with the hope of being able to retain their place in the Championship and push up the table. 

The Black Cats have had some positive reinforcements recently with players such as Lynden Gooch, Patrick Roberts and Anthony Patterson all signing new contracts with the club.

Just last week Gooch’s future looked uncertain as there was interest surrounding him following his strong season last year.

However, Sunderland did well to keep their man for the upcoming season and boss Alex Neil has spoken out on the importance of his stay being extended as he told the Sunderland Echo: “I think it’s vitally important that you do have people who know the club.

“We’re currently still in s position where we’ve got a lot of bodies that we need to recruit for the season. So when the players do come in the building it’s vitally important that there’s people here who now what the club is all about.

“That know how you need to adapt, what the fanbase is going to bring for us as a team, and all the bits in between.

“I think it’s important to have people who are Sunderland through and through, and the fabric of the club goes right through the top to the bottom.

“At every club, you’ll have people who’ve been there ten, fifteen, twenty years, and whether it’s the cleaner or Goochy in the first team, you need to make them feel included in what we’re trying to do.

“You’re only ever going to achieve something if you have everyone pulling in the same direction.”

Furthermore, the manager credited his player’s growth last season as he said: “With Goochy, his contribution since I came in, that’s the only thing I can judge him on and it was very good. I don’t think he ever made it into my first team, so he worked his way in on merit and was vitally important in the game we had towards the end of the season.”

Quiz: Can you name which club Sunderland sold these 23 players to from the last decade?

1 of 23

Asamoah Gyan

The Verdict: 

Getting Gooch on a further two year deal at the club is brilliant business from Sunderland and will definitely give them a boost going into the new season.

Of course the 26-year-old put in brilliant performances especially towards the end of last season so he has earned the right to a new contract.

However, as Neil pointed out, this is about more than just his footballing ability and rather is the representation of continuity at the club which is important for a team going into a new league after success last season.


Passionate football fan. Currently studying a masters at UCFB alongside writing for Football League World.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Alex Neil gives his verdict on 26-year-old as Sunderland seal fresh player agreement

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