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Four goals in last three games: Could Luke Molyneux be Sunderland’s unlikely hero?

The 20-year-old has been in fine form for the Sunderland under-23s.

Mathew Nash

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Sunderland are still fighting to stay in the Championship. An improvement in performances has seen them lose just once in their last five games. Unfortunately, they have drawn their last three games, all three fixtures in which they could have taken all three points.

Therefore, Sunderland are still bottom of the league table and six points off of safety with just three games left to play.

So should the Black Cats consider throwing in one of their in-form under-23 players?

(Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

The player in question is attacking midfielder Luke Molyneux. The 20-year-old, who can also play on the wing, has been in sublime form recently. That form continued this weekend.

The young attacker scored twice in the 4-1 win against Leicester City this afternoon. That followed another brace against Everton in a 2-1 win – taking his tally to four goals in his last three appearances.

His excellent form has helped pull Sunderland out of the relegation zone in the Premier League 2 Division One. Could he do it for the first-team?

Sunderland have certainly improved their performances, but bringing in someone who is in such great form could be a masterstroke from Chris Coleman.

Molyneux could be an impact sub for the Black Cats in the final three games of the season and could bring his current goalscoring knack into the first-team.

(Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Regardless of whether Sunderland decide to give him a shot in the first-team or not, his form is certainly looking good enough to warrant a new contract.

He is one of many at Sunderland whose contracts expire in the summer, but given his fine recent form surely he will be retained when the lists are announced next month?

If that is the case, perhaps this season will come along too soon for Molyneux. But if Sunderland do drop into League One, the attacker might have a better chance of playing regular first-team football at the Stadium of Light.

Sports journalist based in Bristol. Previously spent five years writing for HITC Sport. Everton fan for my sins.

Nottingham Forest

Two pros and two cons to Nottingham Forest re-signing Lee Tomlin

The 29-year-old proved to be a shrewd piece of business last season.

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Lee Tomlin
Photo: Getty Images

Nottingham Forest manager Aitor Karanka pulled off a masterstroke last January when he secured the loan signing of Lee Tomlin who arrived until the end of the 2017/18 campaign on loan.

The stocky attacker performed admirably for the Reds during his time with the club and there was real hope from Forest supporters that their boss would bring Tomlin back to the City Ground during the summer.

Karanka has since gone on a spending spree and signed nine new players and unfortunately for Tomlin several of those new additions have come in the way of attacking options, which could hamper his chances of coming back to the East Midlands.

According to the Mirror (16/07/2018 23:09), the ex-Bristol City man is free to depart the Cardiff City Stadium this summer following their promotion to the Premier League, although it does remain to be seen whether Forest are in the running for their former loan star.

(Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

Here we look at two pros and two cons to Forest completing a deal which would see the 29-year-old return to Trentside…

Pro – Undoubted quality at Championship level

Tomlin netted four goals and created three assists from his 15 appearances in the red of Forest last season but it was perhaps his overall play which saw him claim more praise from Forest’s supporters.

The Cardiff City man possesses incredible feet and his build-up play is magnificent, making him one of the Championship’s very best creative players on his day, although some inconsistencies are perhaps evident.

There is an argument to suggest that Tomlin would get in most teams at second tier level and if Forest do manage to secure his services it is a move that would undoubtedly add more quality to the squad.

Con – Loan deal more likely

Forest have already secured a couple of summer loan signings and with Sam Byram’s pending arrival from West Ham United also likely to be a loan, it begs the question of where Forest would fit all these temporary players.

Tomlin’s excessive wage at Cardiff City means that a loan deal is far more likely than a permanent deal at this stage and that might not sit well with The Reds’ hierarchy.

Only five loan players can be included in the squad of 18 and it just doesn’t seem likely that Forest will pursue anymore temporary deals – other than Byram – at this stage.

Pro – Affection with the Forest supporters

One thing that Lee Tomlin did do amicably well during his loan spell at the City Ground was build up a rapport with the long-suffering Nottingham Forest faithful.

The Reds’ loyal fan base haven’t had loads to shout about in recent times but Tomlin’s arrival last season felt like the club finally had a player who they could relate to once again and his work rate and desire to succeed really shone through.

Whilst some Forest fans might feel that the team has plenty of players capable of playing in Tomlin’s position, he would surely be welcomed back based on his popularity on the banks of the River Trent.

Con – Not really needed

Forest have spent heavily this summer and in Gil Dias, João Carvalho, Diogo Gonçalves and Hilal Soudani they have added a plethora of players capable of playing in a number of attacking positions on the pitch.

Tomlin’s arrival would feel very much like the Reds were stockpiling players, rather than signing them to actually make a difference when it comes to winning Championship games of football.

Forest already have seven or eight players on their books who are proving difficult to offload and they can ill-afford to have any extra players kicking their heels on the fringes of the first-team.

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Leeds United

Neil Warnock confirms no interest in Ronaldo Vieira, great news for Leeds United

Leeds United’s talented midfielder was linked with Cardiff City earlier this week.

Mathew Nash

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The weekend saw one of Leeds United’s top talents linked with a move to the Premier League. As reported by the Sun on Sunday [15/07/2018, page 59], Cardiff City were said to be keen on an £8 million move for England under-21 midfielder Ronaldo Vieira.

It was a move that would have left Leeds fans livid. Whilst Vieira did not have a great season last term he is still a hot prospect for the future.

But Leeds fans can, it seems, rest easy. Cardiff City boss Neil Warnock, a former Leeds manager with a rather low opinion poll at Elland Road, has confirmed his club are not interested in signing Vieira this summer.


“We’ve been linked quite a few times with him and from about four different agents I think, so I don’t know which one of them put it in the press!

“When I read a couple of things in the papers, I think ‘have I not said no about this player before?'”

– Neil Warnock on apparent Ronaldo Vieira interest


This development from Warnock is great news for Leeds. Not because they are not making a bid, but because it would have been hard to turn down for the talented midfielder.

(Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)

If Cardiff were keen, there is every chance Vieira would have pushed for a move.

As has been seen in the past, Leeds youngsters are not always prepared to wait for a chance in the top-flight.

Sam Byram, Charlie Taylor and Lewis Cook have all forced moves to the Premier League in recent memory and Vieira might have been the same if there was genuine interest.

Now it seems there isn’t, the 20-year-old can hopefully thrive under Marcelo Bielsa in 2018-19.

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Derby County

Matej Vydra should make Leeds move instead of misguided Premier League switch

The Czech forward bagged himself 21 goals last season.

Max Cohen

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Matej Vydra
Photo: Getty Images

According to The Sun, Derby County striker Matej Vydra is on his way out of Pride Park and is seeking a Premier League move, although fellow Championship club Leeds United are also interested.

Vydra should choose to sign with Leeds and fire the Yorkshire club to promotion, as he is not ready for a return to the Premier League.

The Czech Republic international is a player who occupies the awkward space between being top-class in the second division, yet not up to speed in the top flight.

In the Championship, there is absolutely no questioning Vydra’s quality. Last season for Derby, the striker banged in 21 goals and was the division’s top scorer, and in 2012/13 for Watford he chipped in 20 goals and eight assists.

(Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images)

But in the Premier League, Vydra has struggled to find his feet. In 24 total top-flight appearances (23 for West Brom and one for Watford), the 26-year-old has scored just three times and provided four assists.

His poor Premier League statistics reveal why he is unlikely to receive much interest from top-flight teams this summer. But given Derby County’s Financial Fair Play worries, manager Frank Lampard may be forced to offload the frontman against his wishes.

The addition of Vydra would be a massive coup for Marcelo Bielsa’s men, as his past managers have heaped praise on the attacker. Back in October, Gary Rowett tipped Vydra to become the best creator in the second division.

“I said to him the other day that he’s got everything to be the best number 10 in this division. Both of his feet are fantastic; he can run, he’s quick and powerful.”

Leeds United would do well to acquire the services of Matej Vydra, one of the Championship’s best striking talents who could light up Elland Road next season.

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