Former Sunderland striker Kevin Phillips has praised Black Cats midfielder Carl Winchester for his contributions to the club’s promotion push in recent weeks.
Winchester joined Sunderland on a two-and-a-half-year deal from League Two promotion hopefuls Forest Green back in the January transfer window, and has gone on to make 11 league appearances for Lee Johnson’s side.
During that time, Winchester has played a key role in Sunderland’s attempts to secure place in the Championship for next season with some impressive performances, and it certainly seems as though Phillips has been pleased with what he has seen from the 27-year-old, despite the fact that he might not be the most eye-catching on the pitch.
Speaking to Football Insider about Winchester’s impact since he arrived at The Stadium of Light, Phillips said: “I think he has been brilliant. I have watched Sunderland a lot lately, live and on TV and I have been very impressed with him.
“He is a no-nonsense midfielder who goes under the radar at times. He is now getting rewarded with recognition for his performances and last night he was man of the match.”
Indeed, it seems Phillips believes that Winchester is someone who could have a key part to play for Sunderland for some time to come, as he went on to add: “Winchester is one of those players you need in your side, someone who keeps it simple.
“I like it when he plays alongside Scowen because he gives him a little bit more license to get forward. He has adapted to the league very well. He looks like a very clever signing.”
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Sitting third in the League One table, two points off the automatic promotion places, Sunderland face a huge game on Saturday, as they host fourth-placed Lincoln City at The Stadium of Light.
It does seem as though Phillips is right to be impressed with what he has seen from Winchester.
The midfielder has seemingly needed no time to settle in at the Stadium of Light, and the fact that Sunderland have enjoyed a hugely impressive run since his arrival does suggest he is at least helping to make an impact.
Given the fact that he has stepped up a league to make that move to Sunderland, you can’t help but be impressed with the adaptability he has shown in order to do that.
Indeed, if Winchester continues to play a big part for Sunderland, and they do go onto secure promotion this season, then the signing of the midfielder will certainly have been a hugely impressive piece of business from the Black Cats.