Sunderland have decided to let Andrew Nelson leave the club on loan this January.
And at this stage of his career, that seems like a sensible option for both Sunderland and the player.
After featuring in pre-season for Sunderland’s first-team, Nelson’s progress was halted by a foot injury.
It would have been very frustrating for the young striker, who had impressed with four goals on a half-season loan at Falkirk the season before.
But with Josh Maja in form and Charlie Wyke returning from injury, Nelson might be looking at a loan spell away rather than breaking into the first-team.
His tally of six goals in five games on a short-term loan at Darlington has caught the eye and clubs are lining up to take him on loan.
Among them is Barnsley, according to The Sunderland Echo, but Sunderland must avoid sanctioning this deal.
Barnsley and Sunderland are in direct competition to win promotion from League One – the Black Cats cannot afford to give their rivals any help.
Sunderland currently sit third while Barnsley are fifth; both sides are hunting automatic promotion but might have to settle for play-off spots.
Nelson is a talented young striker, although he is untested at League One level.
Nonetheless, Sunderland should send him to a lower League One side or on a half-season loan to League Two.
The 21-year-old could bolster Barnsley’s promotion credentials if he joined. And that might be at the expense of his parent club.