Sunderland favourite Kevin Phillips believes the club have a real chance of signing Dion Sanderson this summer – providing they win promotion.
The centre-back joined the Black Cats from Wolves earlier in the season, and, after a slow start, he quickly established himself as a key member of the team under Lee Johnson.
Unfortunately for all connected to the club, injury has prevented Sanderson from featuring in the run-in, whilst he will also miss the play-offs However, his influence on the team was recognised by the fact he was named as the Young Player of the Year.
Game time is going to be difficult for the 21-year-old to come by in the Premier League with Wolves moving forward, so another switch, whether on loan or permanently, feels inevitable in the summer.
And, speaking to Football Insider, Phillips feels Sunderland have chance of landing Sanderson if they can offer Championship football.
“He was a shining light for Sunderland prior to the injury. He has shown that he has great qualities. I’m sure he will be a top defender. I could tell straight away that he likes being at the club. When I did the EFL Trophy final he was up in the box and I could hear him shouting and getting behind the team.
“If Sunderland were to go up and could afford him it sounds like he would be happy to sign. It is a very good sign for the club in regards to signing him this summer.”
Does the Stadium of Light have a higher or lower capacity than these 18 grounds?
You can be sure that Sanderson will be a priority signing for the Black Cats if they do go up, because he was outstanding for the club over the season.
He will be sorely missed in the run-in, but these things happen in football, and Johnson will feel he has individuals ready to step up.
Ultimately, it’s too soon to talk about the window because what division the side are in is going to be key to who they attract, but if they are promoted, Sanderson would be a realistic target and a real statement addition.
Thoughts? Let us know in the comments below.