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Returning Duncan Watmore will be like new signing for Sunderland

Sunderland will welcome the winger back to action in the Autumn.

Mathew Nash

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Sunderland manager Jack Ross has been updating the press on the injury status of attacker Duncan Watmore.

The 24-year-old suffered a second serious knee injury last November and has not played for the Black Cats since.

Speaking to the Sunderland Echo, the Scotsman confirmed that Watmore, who took part in Sunderland’s pre-season training camp in Portugal, should be back with the first-team by ‘late September, maybe October’.

Which will no doubt be like a new signing for the Wearside club.

When the powerful and energetic Watmore burst onto the scene at Sunderland in 2015-16 he was one of the shining lights in what was an otherwise disappointing campaign from the Black Cats. His direct and vibrant style of play was exactly what Sunderland needed as they survived relegation to the Championship by just two points from local rivals Newcastle United.

(Photo credit should read LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP/Getty Images)

Since then things have just not gone to plan for the attacker.

But he is a player that fans have a lot of time for and, in League One, he has all the attributes to be a star.

His strength and pace will be a major concern for most defenders in the division and Sunderland will no doubt enjoy having him back running the channels and stretching defences.

The former England under-21 international needs some good luck. If he can stay fit this season then Sunderland’s chances of a return to the second-tier will increase almost immediately.

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

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. d slayer

    July 9, 2018 at 1:15 pm

    that was said of him last season

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Sunderland

A-League form should encourage Sunderland into Ross McCormack deal

The Scotland striker is out of favour at Aston Villa and Sunderland are said to be keen.

Mathew Nash

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Sunderland are said to be keen on the loan signing of Ross McCormack this summer. The Aston Villa man cost the Villans £12 million when signed from Fulham in the summer of 2016. However, his time at Villa Park has been highly unsuccessful. He has scored just three times for the club since and barely played after falling out with manager Steve Bruce.

It has been quite a fall from grace for a player who was one of the Championship’s most lethal marksmen in the three years preceding.

(Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Even a spell at Nottingham Forest in winter 2016-17 was unsuccessful. The Scot managed just one goal in seven games in a deal that effectively ended early in March..

So why would Sunderland bring him in?

Clearly, it seems, his best days are behind him. That may be true, but his performances in Australia recently suggest he still has what it takes to score at a certain level.


“We hope he [McCormack] looks back on his time in Melbourne and thoroughly enjoyed it. He was a hit with the fans and players so I think it worked for both parties. It’s just disappointing and frustrating we couldn’t come to an agreement and prolong it until the end of the season.”

 – Melbourne City boss Warren Joyce speaking after McCormack’s loan spell


McCormack joined Melbourne City on loan in September 2017. He managed to score an impressive 14 goals in 17 games for the side in his six months down under.

The A-League is a level below the Championship, but perhaps on par with the majority of teams in League One. If McCormack can find goals in Australia, then at the third-tier he could be equally as deadly.

As long as everything is in order off the pitch, the Scot would be a great addition to Sunderland’s slim attacking options.

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Sunderland

Age and wages will leave Sunderland struggling to sell Papy Djilobodji

Mathew Nash

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There is a sense of excitement around Sunderland at the moment, despite their relegation to League One. It is only the second time the club has featured in the third-tier of English football but with a new owner, new manager and a new first-team shaping up, there are reasons to be positive.

Of course, there is also some deadwood to trim. Four players who are all expected to leave Sunderland this season are currently still on the books. Didier Ndong, Lamine Kone, Bryan Oviedo and Papy Djilobodji are all set to leave this summer.

The latter will no doubt prove the hardest to sell.

Djilobodji joined Sunderland from Chelsea in the summer of 2016 for a fee in the region of £8 million. The Senegalese star went on to become an undoubted failure at the Stadium of Light.

(Photo credit should read PHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP/Getty Images)

Despite impressing on loan at Werder Bremen before his move to Wearside, he flopped dramatically. He played 21 times as Sunderland were relegated from the Premier League, failing to impress in any of his appearances.

Now, despite the fact he had a half-decent spell at Dijon on loan last season, selling the player will not be easy.

The 29-year-old, who has had his wages stopped after failing to report for pre-season training, turns 30 in December. Sunderland will want to recoup as much of their £8 million fee as possible, although surely know that is increasingly unlikely. Nobody will go near that price for a failing talent approaching his 30th birthday.


“He has requested not to come back – no we are not paying his wages.”

– Sunderland owner Stewart Donald on Papy Djilobodji

 


Then there are his wages. Djilobodji is reportedly on £33,000-a-month, according to L’Equipe, which no club will want to pay for his services. that equates to £1.7 million-a-year. 

 

Sunderland must do what they can to get rid of the Senegalese defender. But finding someone to stump up cash and buy him? That is looking like a tall order.   

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Sunderland

Elliot Embleton shows Sunderland what he can do with stunning England u-19 display

The England under-19 international was sensational against Turkey yesterday.

Mathew Nash

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England under-19s got their European Championship campaign off to a winning start yesterday evening. They defeated Turkey 3-2 in a hard-fought affair in Finland. It was a game which will have left Sunderland fans very excited.

The winning goal was scored in the 54th minute by Sunderland midfielder Elliot Embleton. His goal made it 3-1 before Turkey pulled one back moments later. He cut in from the right-hand side before rifling a rasping left-footed curler into the top-corner. It was an unstoppable goal and that, in itself, should have been enough to have Sunderland fans excited.

But his all-round performance was sensational.

(Photo by Ian Horrocks/Getty Images)

He swung in a right-footed free-kick for Japhet Tanganga to score England’s first of the night. He then slotted a perfectly timed left-footed through ball into Ben Brereton, the Nottingham Forest man finishing coolly.

Sunderland were relegated to League One last season and it seems plenty of their young talent will get a chance this season

Embleton has to be a part of that. The 19-year-old looks to be a star of the future for Sunderland, if he can replicate this sort of performance on a regular basis.

There is certainly reason for Sunderland fans to be excited about Embleton’s potential impact at the Stadium of Light.

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