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 plotting a permanent move for Dion Sanderson this summer, according to Football Insider.
The central defender has spent the last season on loan at the Stadium Of Light and really taken to life on Wearside after establishing himself as a first team regular under Lee Johnson.
Unfortunately an injury stopped him from playing a part in the club’s play-off push – an effort which saw them fall short in their pursuit of promotion back to the Championship.
The Wolves defender will return to Molineux this summer, but do Sunderland stand a chance of tempting the 21-year-old back to League One despite interest from the Championship?
The team at FLW have their say…
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Sadly for Sunderland, I’m not convinced that it will do.
I think if you look at the impact that Sanderson made for Sunderland last season, not to mention his reliable performances for Cardiff in the Championship during the latter stages of the 2019/20 campaign, I think he will know that he is capable of playing at second-tier level next season.
That is something that Sanderson would surely prefer to do, given the higher up the pyramid he is playing, the better his career prospects are in terms of where he has the potential to go in the future, not to mention the extra financial incentives there may be from playing in a higher divison.
As a result, I do think that the Black Cats could be left disappointed here, especially since I would expect the showings that Sanderson has produced over the past season or so to attract interest in him from the Championship across the course of the summer transfer window, which could make things difficult for Sunderland here.
You’d have to say it depends what his other options are and what those clubs are offering him!
He found some fantastic form at Sunderland and the prospect of returning there will likely be appealing, particularly with the new ownership seemingly ready to invest via the transfer market.
However, if there are Championship clubs willing to offer him regular first team football then he may feel that’s the best next step for his development.
Alternatively, should a Premier League side come in for him and give him the chance to go back on loan next term that may appeal to him more than dropping back to League One.
There are a lot of moving parts in this one but you have to feel the Black Cats do have a chance!
I don’t think Sunderland will be able to pull this off, as for me, Sanderson is ready to be playing Championship football next term.
There’s no doubting that he enjoyed his spell in the North East previously but I think sentiment will go out the window this summer.
He will want to be playing at a higher level and you would like to think that several clubs in the second tier will be eyeing him up.
It would be a major coup for the Black Cats if they did manage to get him back but I just can’t see it.
The only way I could fathom Sanderson turning out in a red and white shirt again would be if there was Championship football being played at the Stadium of Light, and as we know, that won’t be the case next year!