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 manager Phil Parkinson bounced back from defeat in his opening fixture in charge, with an emphatic 5-0 win over Tranmere Rovers midweek, that now leaves the Black Cats in seventh place in League One, five points adrift of leaders Ipswich Town.
The victory saw a second appearance of the season for goalkeeper Lee Burge, who was given the number one jersey by Parkinson, having had to sit on the touchline for the majority of this season, with 32-year-old Jon McLaughlin being given the nod by previous boss Jack Ross.
So do you expect Burge to stay as Sunderland’s first-choice goalkeeper under Parkinson?
“Signed by Sunderland in the summer following a lengthy spell at Coventry City, Burge would have been aiming to help the club achieve an impressive start to the 2019/20 campaign.
“However, the shot-stopper was forced to watch on from the sidelines during the opening weeks of the season due to the presence of Jon McLaughlin.
“Handed his debut by Sunderland’s new manager Phil Parkinson last Saturday, Burge produced an impressive performance against Wycombe.
“Having backed up this particular display on Tuesday by keeping a clean-sheet in the Black Cats’ victory over Tranmere Rovers, the 26-year-old should now be given a run in the team for the club’s upcoming fixtures.”
“He’s delivered two strong performances since being thrust into the side by Parkinson, and I see no reason why he now won’t remain as Sunderland’s number-one choice.
“Jon McLaughlin has not quite been at his best this season which means Burge has deserved his chance, and it would be unfair for Parkinson to now drop him so quickly.
“Burge has produced some excellent saves in the last two matches, while his ball distribution is also better than that of McLaughlin which makes it a no-brainer to start him in the current circumstances.
“He looks like a reliable figure between the sticks, and McLaughlin now has his work cut out to break back into the side.”
Will Lee Burge stay as Sunderland's first-choice goalkeeper under Phil Parkinson?
“I don’t see any reason why not – he can’t afford to make too many changes as it could affect morale.
“Burge has enjoyed a mixed start to the season, but all in all, he has been an impressive signing for Sunderland since arriving in the summer.
“He could command his box better, but even though their defence has been shaky this term, he has pulled off some great saves to keep the scores down.
“Jon McLaughlin is an excellent goalkeeper who is so highly rated at the Stadium of Light, and he will push Burge all the way.”