Sunderland have had a fantastic start to the 2021-22 season, with things going right both on and off the pitch.
The Black Cats have lost just once in all competitions, that coming in a 1-0 defeat against Burton Albion in League One, and going into September they top the table, two points clear of the chasing pack.
Combined with good results there has been some exciting recruitment by the Wearsiders, who have taken advantage of the loan system to bring in the likes of Callum Doyle from Manchester City and also secured permanent deals for Premier League youngsters in Dennis Cirkin and Niall Huggins.
And Lee Johnson could be set to add to his ranks in the closing days of the transfer window from the top flight once again, with Arsenal full-back Ryan Alebiosu set to arrive on loan.
The 19-year-old has been a regular for the Gunners’ under-23 team in the last year and he will provide competition for Huggins at right-back, whilst also having the capability to play further forward.
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Alebiosu’s imminent arrival has been given the seal of approval by Black Cats icon Kevin Phillips, who is impressed by what he’s seen of Johnson’s new signings already this season.
“He could be a great signing,” Phillips said, per Football Insider.
“Any player who comes from a Premier League club like Arsenal, who have a history of producing good, exciting, young talented players, is a good signing.
“When you come out of the Under-23s to League One there is a big jump in terms of the physicality. These young players are so quick and fit now they settle in no problem.
“There has been some exciting signings at Sunderland so I’m hopeful they can really push on this season.
“They have tried bringing experience in and it just hasn’t worked. They’re giving youngsters a go now and the balance looks really good.”
There is a real youthful look to Sunderland’s side this season, but they also have a mix of experience as well with the likes of Aiden McGeady, Tom Flanagan and Corry Evans as well to complement it.
It would be fair if Sunderland fans had reservations over the club bringing in so many youthful signings, but things seem to be clicking on the pitch right now.
The likes of Cirkin and Doyle have already fitted into Johnson’s side and with academy graduates like Dan Neil and Elliot Embleton starring as well, there’s lots of reasons to be positive.
Alebiosu would fit in with the club’s new blueprint and there could be the chance to secure a permanent move for the teenager if he impresses, providing that a deal does indeed get over the line.