Sunderland have confirmed that youngster Adam Richardson has committed his long-term future to the club by signing his first professional contract.
The young goalkeeper has been attracting interest from a number of EFL and Premier League clubs after impressing in the Black Cats’ youth setup, as he currently features for their under-16s side this season.
The stopper has impressed enough to earn himself a call-up to England’s youth setup in recent months and will be looking forward to much more to come in his career.
The Sunderland academy has had a very positive few weeks after it was confirmed that the Academy of Light was to regain their very prestigious category one academy status.
Sunderland’s youth system has brought through some very talented players in the past, most notably two of England’s current first-choice players Jordan Henderson and Jordan Pickford.
Richardson will be hoping to follow in Pickford’s footsteps in the years to come by breaking into the Black Cats first team and eventually playing in the Premier League and England, with his club clearly holding him in very high regard.
Speaking to the club’s official site, Richardson was obviously delighted to put pen-to-paper on a professional contract. He stated: “I’m incredibly proud to have signed this contract and I can’t quite believe it. I have been at Sunderland since I was eight, so it means a lot to me to have committed my future to the club.
“It’s not just for me, though, my family have been there every step of the way. I have also worked with a lot of great coaches since I arrived, including Mark Prudhoe who has been the one to help me through a lot of highs and lows.
“He has had a big influence on me, and I’m looking forward to working with him over the next few years.”
The youngster will continue his development in the academy setup heading into the 2020/21 season, looking to work his way up the ranks.
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It’s smart business from Sunderland to tie Richardson down as soon as possible, to ensure he cannot be tempted away from the club for a nominal fee.
While he’s only in the under-16s side at the moment, those on Wearside clearly see him as a first-team player in the making.
It’s a massive confidence booster for Richardson too who knows how well he is progressing and will now be encouraged to continue his great work in the academy.
Premier League and EFL clubs are interested for a reason and Sunderland have done right in moving very quick to tie him down to a long-term deal.