Sunderland manager Phil Parkinson says that midfielder Ethan Robson could still make his mark for the Black Cats in the second half of this season, even if the club do recruit in that position in the remainder of the January transfer window.
Robson spent the first half of the season on loan with Grimsby Town, making a total 21 appearances in all competitions for the League Two side, scoring three occasions.
It now seems as though Parkinson could be willing to give Robson an opportunity at the Stadium of Light in the next few months, despite recent links with another midfielder in the shape of Rangers’ Greg Docherty.
Speaking to The Chronicle about the situation surrounding Robson, Parkinson said: “Ethan is pushing hard and his attitude since he came back [from Grimsby] has been great, and he clearly has a determination to get himself back involved.
“But equally, I have to make sure that we are covered in case of injuries, suspensions, etc, which is why we are looking at midfielders in the transfer window.”
Prior to his temporary move to Blundell Park in the summer, Robson a total of 14 appearances for Sunderland, scoring once for the Black Cats.
The 23-year-old has just six months remaining on his current contract at the Stadium of Light, meaning he will be free to leave Sunderland for nothing at the end of the season, if no deal is agreed either way before then.
I think this is a sensible decision from Parkinson.
With Robson having left the club on loan before his appointment, Parkinson has yet to really see the midfielder up close, so it makes sense for him to take this opportunity to do that.
Indeed, if Parkinson likes what he sees from the midfielder, it could save him a transfer fee that may otherwise be needed at some point in the future if Robson does leave in the summer, while the manager’s willingness to give the 23-year-old the chance to prove himself over the next few months, ought to win him favour both from within the dressing room, and the stands.