Former Sunderland striker Kevin Phillips says he is surprised that the club chose to release midfield duo Max Power and Josh Scowen.
The Blacks Cats are preparing for a fourth consecutive season in League One following their play-off defeat to Lincoln last week, and announced in their retained and released list after the game, that Power and Scowen would be among those leaving the clubs when their contracts expired this summer.
Power, who captained the club last season, made 137 appearances and scored 13 goals during a three-year spell will Sunderland, after joining the club from Wigan in the summer of 2018.
Scowen meanwhile, moved to the Stadium of Light from QPR in January 2020, and scored three goals in 55 games for the Black Cats in total.
Now it seems as though the fact that both are looking for new clubs this summer, is not one that Phillips was expecting.
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Giving his verdict on Sunderland’s decision to release the duo, the Black Cats legend told Football Insider: “He’s (Scowen) done well so I am a little bit surprised.
“Maybe the player has made it clear he wants to leave, you don’t know, but I’m surprised they haven’t decided to maybe offer him something because I thought he’s done well in the middle of the park.
“Power as well, he’s a leader and you need that experience in League One. I think they’ve got to go down the younger route and give youth a chance next year. They’ve got some good young players coming through, mixed with a little bit of experience.”
This is an intriguing verdict on these decisions by Sunderland in my opinion.
Power and Scowen are players who do have plenty of experience at this sort of level, but they do seem to have been two sources of frustration for supporters of the club at times, meaning not all may be as convinced by their performances for the Black Cats as Phillips.
Indeed, given their experience, it is also possible that these two will not have been on the cheapest deals at The Stadium of Light, meaning that failure to win promotion to the Championship could have made it hard for the club to afford those new contracts from a financial perspective.
Even so, given these departures have seen two senior midfielders leave Sunderland, you do feel as though the club are going to have replace both of them in the summer transfer window.