Sunderland are close to securing a move for young Middlesbrough defender Andrew Nelson this summer as they aim to bolster their youth ranks, according to the Sunderland Echo.
Nelson is a boyhood Sunderland supporter and is from the area but he made the move to Middlesbrough eight years ago and has been part of Boro’s youth setup ever since.
The defender has managed to make an impression with their youth side over recent years and he made 20 appearances in the Under-18 Premier League last term.
It is believed that Nelson’s performances for Middlesbrough’s under-18s have now alerted Sunderland and that they are keen to add him to their group of development players at the Stadium of Light.
The belief is that the 18-year-old will link up with the Black Cats’ development squads next season should he make the switch this summer.
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The Sunderland Echo report that the chance to move to his boyhood club would be too good an opportunity for the defender to turn down this summer.
The expectation, therefore, is that he would accept the offer to make the switch from Middlesbrough and a deal is expected to be able to be completed.
This seems like a very wise signing by Sunderland and is one that could benefit them in the long-term future. Nelson is clearly a player that has some potential and Middlesbrough will have put a lot of work into his development up to this point. However, clearly there is a connection between the Black Cats and the 18-year-old that make this move a big draw for him.
It could be the right move for the defender and he might well find first-team chances easier to come by if the Black Cats remain in League One than he would have done with Middlesbrough in the Championship.
The 18-year-old would also be a player that could quickly endear himself to supporters given his connection with the club.
Nelson then looks like the right type of player for Sunderland to be recruiting to their youth ranks and the hope will be that he can develop his game in their academy before making first-team appearances for his boyhood club.