This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Sunderland are hoping to tie up a deal to bring Dion Sanderson to the club on loan next season, according to the Northern Echo.
The Wolves starlet has been a standout performer for Lee Johnson’s side so far this term as the Black Cats continue their push to try and secure promotion to the Championship.
Sanderson is a top talent and while the report claims that the Premier League side would be reluctant to lose him on a permanent basis, the option of him heading out on loan again could be tempting for all parties.
But would a move to the Stadium Of Light be appealing to the player, who should be be aiming higher?
The team at FLW have their say…
It depends on what division Sunderland are playing their football in next season.
I’ve been really impressed with Sanderson so far in his loan spell with Sunderland, and he’ll be eager to play a key role in their bid for promotion into the Championship this term.
I’m not quite convinced that Sanderson is ready to be playing regularly in the Premier League just yet though, but he’d be more than good enough for the Championship in next year’s campaign.
But he won’t be short of options, with the likes of Huddersfield Town and Sheffield United just a couple of the teams interested in landing his signature.
Sunderland will have to make sure they win promotion this season to stand a chance of signing Sanderson permanently in the summer.
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I think it depends if Sunderland win promotion this season.
We’ve obviously seen this season that Sanderson is more than good enough to compete at League One level, so it is probably a given that he needs to take a step up from that division.
As a result, it does feel as though Sunderland simply have to win promotion to bring Sanderson back to the Stadium of Light this summer, although if they do secure a place in the Championship for next season, that could be an appropriate level for the defender next season.
Sanderson was only briefly tested in the Championship last season with Cardiff, and while he did show promise, it could be a big step up for him to go straight to the Premier League for next season, meaning a stint in the Championship could be good for him, particularly given that at 21-years-old, he has plenty of time left to make that step up in the future.
Sanderson has already suggested that his main preference is to return to Wolves and try and prove that he can be a Premier League player.
So, in his own head he clearly feels that he is good enough to be performing in the top-flight and at the highest level. That is reflected in the confidence he has exuded playing in League One during his loan spell.
However, Wolves do have a lot of options available to them in his position and it is going to be tough for him to earn a regular starting place with his parent club. Therefore, you would imagine that a move to the Championship would be an appealing second option for him, if it is made clear to him by his club that he will not be first choice next term.
Sunderland have to achieve promotion for them to even be a consideration for Sanderson next term, but there is a lot of merit to the idea of him remaining somewhere he is valued and will be one of the first names on the team sheet. Lee Johnson knows how to get the best out of him and if he returned and enjoyed a good year in the second tier his name would again be in the shop window.
The defender has a lot of time left in his career to play in the Premier League, so if Sunderland do go up and Wolves decide to let him leave then playing for the Black Cats in the Championship is not something he should turn his nose up at.