This season Sunderland have seen some of their young talent involved in first-team action. Jack Ross has handed chances to the likes of Denver Hume, Bali Mumba and Benjamin Kimipoka. With 19-year-old Josh Maja leading a charge up front, it seems as good a time as any to be a Sunderland talent.
One man who should be on the radar for fans is Daniel Neil. The 16-year-old started the season in the under-18s but has recently been promoted to the under-23 side playing in PL2.
Such an achievement is impressive for such a young player. He is now playing with players much older than him and has taken on players with Football League experience in his appearances against Manchester United and Aston Villa’s development squads.
“They (Mumba and Neil) are getting challenged, they’re ahead of their own age in terms of their development and we want to challenge them.
“It’s a deliberate thing that they’re in this environment, it’s a deliberate thing they’re with us and playing with us.”
Neil can play either as a deep-lying midfielder or just behind the strikers and is a technically gifted young midfield operator.
Considering the wealth of options Sunderland currently have in midfield, it is unlikely Sunderland will see Neil this season. The likes of George Honeyman, Max Power, Luke O’Nien, Dylan McGeouch and even his youth team-mate Bali Mumba are ahead in tbe pecking order.
But Sunderland fans should certainly remember the name. Because Neil could become a future Black Cats star at this rate.