Non-league defender Wouter Verstraaten has signed a new contract with South Shields FC, despite being linked with a move to Sunderland earlier this season.
It had been reported by the Sunderland Echo that the League One side had taken the Dutchman on trial ahead of a potential permanent move for the defender.
But he has now committed his future to the non-league club, which will surely come as a frustrating blow for Phil Parkinson’s side.
Speaking after signing a new deal with South Shields, Verstraaten expressed his delight at the announcement, and is hoping to clinch the league title next season.
“I am very happy to have signed this deal, as it took a while before we finally got it done. I am very pleased that South Shields have shown their confidence in me during these unprecedented times.
“Ever since I joined the team in January, I have felt the professionalism and will to win this league.”
The Black Cats are currently sat seventh in the third tier standings, but are just three points adrift of the automatic promotion places heading towards the conclusion of this year’s campaign.
However, that push for promotion back into the Championship has been put on hold for the time being, with no scheduled return date in place as of yet.
It’s set to be an interesting summer transfer window ahead for the Black Cats though, especially if they’re to win promotion, as they look to make the necessary additions to their squad.
Can you remember which Sunderland manager signed these players? Test your knowledge in our quiz!
I’m surprised by this decision.
It’s understandable that he’s wanting to continue his studies at university whilst playing for the club, but I’m surprised that he’s signed a new deal with the club despite Sunderland’s rumoured interest in landing his signature.
He’s clearly a player that has made a good impression so far with South Shields, and it’ll be interesting to see if Sunderland are to reignite their interest in Verstraaten heading into the summer transfer window.