Injuries have undoubtedly been cruel to Sunderland winger Duncan Watmore. The speedy winger has spent the last 12 months on the sidelines with a cruciate knee ligament injury. Since the end of 2016, Watmore has only played six times.
It means he has largely missed the demise of the club, which has seen Sunderland slip down to League One from the Premier League.
Prior to his injury trouble, Watmore was considered one of the brightest talents in England. A regular with the under-21s, he was hugely popular with the now current England boss and national hero Gareth Southgate.
It’s hard to remember, but at one point in 2016, some were even suggesting he might make the Euro 2016 squad.
“We knew that we were ending up a little bit narrow and [Watmore’s] width would give us a different option and his pace at that stage of the game, because we’d kept the ball so well and knew the opposition would tire.
“So I’m delighted for him, he’s a great kid to work with and it’s great that he’s got his reward tonight.”
Watmore has recently made his return to action. On Monday night he featured in a Premier League 2 game against Middlesbrough. He missed a penalty in the clash but just being out on the field for an hour would have been a huge boost to the Sunderland attacker.
Watmore, an unorthodox, hard-working and lightning quick, forward player will now have his eyes firmly set on a return to the Sunderland first-team in the new year.