Sunderland to unload pair as January window opens tomorrow

Sunderland youngsters Anthony Patterson and Sam Wilding were released on loan in January.

Patterson, 21, joined Notts County from the National League after a stint with the club earlier in the season.

The young keeper joined Notts County this summer and stayed with the club until the end of October. He made 16 appearances for the club before being recalled due to injury with Lee Burge.

Sunderland needed someone to replace first-choice goalie Thorben Hoffmann, but Burge’s recovery means Patterson can be loaned again.

Wilding, also 21, has also joined National League club Leamington after playing for Sunderland’s Under-23 team this season.

He has been a regular holder on the minors side this campaign, but will be on loan until February 5.

Sunderland’s sporting director has spoken about the agreements. He was optimistic about where both players were heading in their career paths.

“While there have been alternative moves on the table, we believe this remains the best way to ensure Anthony’s further development,” said Kristjaan Speakman, via Live Chronicle.

“Likewise, we were aware of the need for Sam to gain more minutes and valuable experience in a competitive senior environment, so this is a great opportunity for him to progress.

“We are maintaining a recall option on both players to ensure we are fully protected in continually uncertain times.”

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Sunderland currently leads the League One table. The Black Cats won their last game of 2021, with a comfortable 5-0 loss to Darren Moore’s Sheffield on Wednesday.

The club’s first game of the New Year will be against the Wycombe Wanderers on January 8.

The verdict

Seeking loans for young players is a very smart move for all involved.

That Patterson had to be brought back in October was unfortunate, but it’s good that he can now return to Notts County. I hope he can pick up where he left off and continue to enjoy essential playing time.

Wilding needs to level up if he is to be successful in Sunderland. Lee Johnson obviously doesn’t see his place in his starting squad yet, so finding a loan is the right decision right now and should help his development.

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