Sunderland look to be a step closer to solving their right-back crisis as they are locked in talks for Leeds United youngster Niall Huggins, according to Football Insider.
Due to Luke O’Nien being deployed as a midfielder, the Black Cats have been without a natural full-back on the right side of the pitch due to the departure of Conor McLaughlin in the summer.
Carl Winchester has filled in for the first few games of the season but a permanent solution to the problem has been sought and seemingly found.
21-year-old Huggins is a Wales under-21 international and was a regular feature for Leeds’ under-23 side in the Premier League 2 competition last season, playing 17 times in a variety of positions.
Sunderland fan? Bored? Try get 100% on this 22 question quiz all about Black Cats transfer deals from over the years
The versatile youngster played at right-back, left-back, on both wings and even at centre-back, whilst also making his senior debut against Arsenal back in February where he played the majority of the second half at right-back.
Sunderland are said to be in advanced talks to bring Huggins to Wearside and a permanent deal is apparently close to being struck for a six-figure fee, despite being contracted at Elland Road until June 2023.
Huggins has very little in the way of senior experience in football, however there are some very talented players plying their trade in under-23’s football and they just need their break at a club in the EFL to get going.
In the instance of Huggins, his versatility could be set to provide Lee Johnson with something very useful, but you’d imagine that he will be joining as a right-back, and an attack-minded one at that considering Huggins played further up the pitch a few years ago.
Following the signings of Corry Evans and Alex Pritchard, some Sunderland supporters were worried that it was just going to be experience arriving this summer, but young loanees like Callum Doyle and Nathan Broadhead arriving and the permanent addition of Dennis Cirkin has made it clear that younger players are the way forward for the club – Huggins would fit into that criteria as well.