Kevin Phillips has urged Dion Sanderson not to sign for Newcastle United amid speculation linking the defender with a move to St. James’ Park.
Sanderson has enjoyed a fruitful campaign at the Stadium of Light after joining on loan from Wolves in the summer, helping the Black Cats fight for promotion from League One.
The 21-year-old has made 24 appearances in League One, producing a series of impressive performances in the heart of defence alongside the likes of Bailey Wright and Luke O’Nien.
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A host of sides have been linked with the defender’s signature, including Sheffield United and Crystal Palace, and Sunderland’s arch rivals Newcastle United are also said to be keeping an eye on the centre-half.
It would be a move which would raise eyebrows amongst Sunderland fans, given how integral Sanderson has been for the Black Cats this season.
Speaking to Football Insider, former Sunderland striker Kevin Phillips has urged Sanderson not to make the move to St. James’ Park if the opportunity arose.
He said: “Sanderson would be a very brave lad if he was to step across and play for Newcastle after playing for Sunderland.
“My advice to him would be, ‘ Don’t do it!’ It would not be worth the hassle.
“He has proven this season that he is going to get better and better. It will not be just Newcastle sniffing around him, I am sure there will be a few other clubs as well.
“It is going to be difficult for Sunderland to sign him permanently this summer but I would be very surprised if he went to Newcastle, put it that way.”
I can’t see Sanderson joining Newcastle.
I don’t think he’s quite ready to make the step up to the Premier League, and for me, he’d be better off staying at Sunderland on a permanent basis.
Lee Johnson is really getting the best out of him, and for a player of Sanderson’s age, that shouldn’t be overlooked. He’s playing plenty of minutes under Johnson, and if they go up, then the Championship would be the right standard for him.