Friday, March 31, 2023

Sunderland Want This Teenage Sensation – Can He Solve Their Problems?

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Snehanjan Banerjee
Snehanjan used to a former columnist at The 4th Official. Fan of KK, Cricket and Liverpool (in no particular order).

For the last few seasons, a team that has consistently battled relegation has been Sunderland. However, the Black Cats have always been to somehow retain their Premier League status. Gus Poyet, Dick Advocaat, Sam Allardyce; the situation was the same under all the Sunderland managers and from the start David Moyes has had at the Stadium of Light, the fans won’t be expecting any better. First, a 2-1 loss against Manchester City on the opening day and then, another similar outcome against nearest rivals Middlesbrough in the Tees-Wear Derby- Moyes has plenty of work to do before the transfer window slams closed.

From what we have seen so far, Sunderland lack creativity big time. There is no cutting edge in their game and Moyes is running out of time to address the shortcomings in his squad. The Mirror claims that Sunderland are holding a stern interest in Championship sensation Oliver Burke although bigger clubs like Arsenal, Tottenham, West Ham and Liverpool have already checked him out on several occasions.

Adnan Januzaj, Duncan Watmore and Wahbi Khazri are the options Sunderland have right now on the flanks with Jeremain Lens and Fabio Borini also capable of playing out wide. We have seen plenty of promise from players like Watmore and Januzaj against Boro but the end product was missing. Burke has scored 3 times in 4 games in Championship this season and is more than capable of providing the quality Sunderland are missing.

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An academy product of Nottingham Forest’s youth academy, Burke has shown plenty of promise since making his debut during the 2014-15 season. The Scottish winger is exceptionally well-built for his age. With a frame of 6’2″, he is a strong player who can outrun as well as outmuscle defenders.

Having made 29 appearances in all competitions for Forest till date, Burke has made his name among the biggest prospects in the Championship right now and a step up to the Premier League is well deserved. Sunderland are the ideal destination for the promising youngster as they can offer him regular game time, unlike the bigger clubs interested in him.

Twice capped for Scottland already, Burke is touted to have a big future for his country, a glimmer of hope in Scotland’s darkest days. A player Burke largely resembles in his early days in Gareth Bale. The 19-year-old is a direct winger and likes to beat defenders with his blistering pace. Still a raw talent, the Scot can be moulded into a Premier League regular in coming years if the right guidance is offered. Moyes is well-known as a manager who can lead promising youngsters in the right direction and Burke will have an exceptional manager to work with.

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