Sunderland head coach Lee Johnson is closing in on a fourth loan signing of the summer in the form of Arsenal’s Ryan Alebiosu, according to football.london.
The 19-year-old, who signed his first professional contract with the Gunners last summer, was linked with the Black Cats earlier in the week and now it appears that talks have progressed and it is close to being finalised to bring the youngster to the Stadium of Light.
Primarily a winger in his younger days at the London club, Alebiosu was converted into a full-back when still playing for Arsenal’s under-18’s and he remained at right-back when transitioning to the under-23’s last season, appearing 21 times in the Premier League 2 and the EFL Trophy.
Capable of playing at left-back as well as further up the pitch, Alebiosu would add to Sunderland’s stellar collection of Premier League loanees which includes Callum Doyle, Frederick Alves and Nathan Broadhead from Manchester City, West Ham and Everton respectively.
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And Alebiosu would be expected to provide competition to recent new recruit Niall Huggins from Leeds United, who made his debut at right-back in the number 2 shirt against Blackpool in the Carabao Cup this week.
From the more recent Sunderland additions this summer, it’s clear to see that Lee Johnson is all in on younger players and giving them experience and hoping they’re good enough to secure the club promotion.
In this instance, Alebiosu is clearly rated at Arsenal due to the fact he was the under-23’s first-choice right-back at the age of just 18 last season but will it be a concern that both of Sunderland’s options in that area are young and inexperienced?
Carl Winchester has been filling in at right-back to start the season and if needed he could bring some more steel and grit if needed but Johnson clearly wants his full-backs to attack and Alebiosu can bring that to the table.
It’s always a risk bringing in a young Premier League loanee though as usually they will not have had much, if any senior experience whatsoever, so it’s a big gamble giving them first-team football but we will soon see if the Arsenal man is good enough for the Black Cats.