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 reportedly eyeing a move for Chelsea goalkeeper Nathan Baxter, on either a loan or permanent deal according to Football Insider.
Baxter caught the eye with some strong performances for League One side Accrington Stanley last season, as he kept eight clean sheets in 19 appearances for them, as they finished 11th in the third-tier standings.
He has two years remaining on his contract with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, but it wouldn’t come as a surprise to see him heading out on a temporary basis for the 2021/22 season, as he goes in search of regular game time.
A move to the Stadium of Light with Sunderland could be a tempting proposition as well, with the Black Cats looking to win promotion into the Championship under the management of Lee Johnson next term.
They missed out on a timely return to the second-tier this season, after they were beaten by Lincoln City in their play-off semi-final.
We ask our Football League World writers what they make of Sunderland’s rumoured interest in signing Baxter this summer, as they look to challenge for promotion into the Championship.
I really like this from a Sunderland perspective.
While Lee Burge has proven himself a solid League One keeper, it’s still a position that I think the Black Cats can improve upon.
Nathan Baxter looks like an exciting young shot-stopper and he showed while on loan at Accrington Stanley that he’s got the quality to thrive in the third tier.
He’ll no doubt be hungry to prove himself at a big club like Sunderland, which could mean he steps his game up a level. A loan would be good but depending on the fee, a permanent move would be even better.
Could he be the answer for years to come?
I think that Sunderland definitely need another goalkeeper to battle with Lee Burge – he may have been named in the League One Team of the Season however as we saw against Lincoln City he’s prone to mistakes and I think the Black Cats could do better.
Is Baxter that player though? I think he may be.
It’s actually quite a surprise that he’s still contracted to Chelsea at the age of 22 and he still has two years remaining on his deal – he spent this past season on loan at Accrington Stanley but he had to wait a while to make an appearance due to the form of young stopper Toby Savin.
Baxter eventually got his chance though and made 16 League One appearances before picking up a season-ending shoulder injury in March, but prior to that data showed that he was a good shot-stopper for Stanley and was also pretty good at coming off his line as well.
If Lee Johnson wants to play out from the back next season, then bringing in a goalkeeper schooled at Chelsea wouldn’t be the worst way to go about it, and standing at 6 ft 3 in he would also bring a physical presence from crosses.
There should be plenty of interest in Baxter this summer but Sunderland definitely have the resources to make something happen.
Which Sunderland player has been carded the most in each of the last 16 seasons?
I don’t think it’s a bad idea at all.
Baxter is a good young goalkeeper and I think he could give Lee Burge a real run for his money for the number 1 spot next season, something that both players would actually benefit from, and that in turn would help out the Black Cats as they once again challenge for promotion from League One.
I really think it needs to be promotion or bust from Lee Johnson and if he cannot get results quickly next season then there will obviously be concerns that another League One year after this one coming beckons.
That said, he needs a squad that is pushing in all areas and I think getting in Baxter would really help that happen between the sticks.