Sunderland are currently well on track in Sky Bet League One, with the Black Cats sitting just four points off the top of the standings with a game in hand on the leaders Rotherham United.
This is representative of the progress that has been made by the club under the guidance of Lee Johnson this term, with the focus on youth having largely paid dividends for the North East outfit.
Indeed it is the likes of Dan Neil, Callum Doyle, Nathan Broadhead and Leon Dajaku that have all impressed for this Sunderland side, with the young quartet all being aged under 24.
It underlines just how much progress has been made at the Stadium of Light with regards to giving the squad as a whole a much younger look.
However it must be stressed that the more experienced and older members of the group have still very much played their parts to great effect.
The likes of Ross Stewart, Carl Winchester, Luke O’Nien and Bailey Wright all still have important roles to play in what is yet another quest to secure promotion from the third tier.
Wright’s situation in particular however is certainly a strange one at present.
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The Australian centre back has played his part in 25 games across all competitions this term but is still no closer to agreeing terms on a new contract with the club.
This is a fact that is sure to alarm many a fan, especially as the defender is set to see his current deal expire next summer, thus raising plenty of question marks over his future in the North East.
Keeping the 29-year-old has so many obvious benefits and given the relationship that Johnson has with the player – which stems all the way back to their time together at Bristol City – it would be fair to assume that the Black Cats will view the prospect of the defender staying at the club as still being a possibility.
It therefore makes the fact that there are no talks ongoing even stranger, especially after there was some interest in Wright from other clubs over the summer.
Although Sunderland are clearly focusing on building their future around a young core, it is fair to say that this season has shown that they still need some more experienced heads about the place in order to achieve their lofty ambitions.
In short, Wright certainly still has a lot to offer in a red and white shirt and it is fair to say that Sunderland would be silly to overlook that fact.