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Ruben Sammut's Sunderland trial

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Post  cyprussyd on 2019-02-26, 8:40 pm

Ruben Sammut's Sunderland trial shows a change of emphasis at the Academy of Light
Chelsea midfielder Ruben Sammut was playing as a trialist for Sunderland Under-23s on Monday, highlighting a change in their recruitment strategy
Stuart Rayner

  • 15:34, 26 FEB 2019
  • UPDATED18:07, 26 FEB 2019

[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]Ruben Sammut (Image: Getty Images)

The presence of Chelsea’s Ruben Sammut in Sunderland’s under-23 side at Eppleton on Monday night is a reminder of how they are trying to do things slightly differently this season.
It has been a good 12 months for the Black Cats’ academy. George Honeyman has emerged as first-team captain, Lynden Gooch as one of its key players. Josh Majawas another for a while, but has now joined Bordeaux. Hopefully he can forge a career Sunderland fans can be proud of in the way locals Jordan Pickford and Jordan Henderson have.

Bali Mumba and Benji Kimpioka have made strides, as Denver Hume did before injury intervened, and Elliot Embleton appears to be developing well on loan at Grimsby Town.

Even the return of Grant Leadbitter was a fillip.
Gooch, Maja, Kimpioka, Max Stryjek and Joel Asoro, now at Swansea City, are reminders that the Academy of Light has always been prepared to cast its net wide in the search for talent. It is the only way to stay competitive nowadays, though as Chelsea have been reminded, there are rules to stick to.
But increasingly since Stewart Donald’s takeover prompted a rethink of how his club do things, academy recruitment has become a more two-pronged affair.

Sammut’s trial is another example of that.
The realisation is growing that there is so much talent falling through the cracks at England’s top clubs. If Borussia Dortmund, who famously signed Jadon Sancho from Manchester City, and Bayern Munich, who are pursuing Chelsea’s Callum Hudson-Odoi, are not to proud to chase it, why should Sunderland be?
As a League One club, they are not in the same market as Bayern and Dortmund, but there is still plenty of talent to be swept up lower down the chain.
With Liverpool picking up Luca Stephenson, and Arsenal signing Sam Greenwood, there has been a determination to make sure it is not one-way traffic. Goalkeeper Max Johnstone joined from Manchester United in the summer, along with ex-Everton defender Jack Bainbridge and Liverpool midfielder Jordan Hunter. Connor Shields signed from Albion Rovers in January.

Football League Trophy appearances for Bainbridge and Hunter apart, these are players who have been signed for under-23 coach Elliott Dickman rather than Jack Ross initially.

Whether 21-year-old Sammut, who played in midfield against Stoke City Under-23s but can also operate in defence, joins them remains to be seen. Having had a loan spell at Falkirk and with Scottish under-21 caps, you can guarantee Ross’ backroom team will either know a lot about him, or know plenty of people who do.
Not making the grade at Chelsea, where Sammut has been since the age of eight, is no disgrace, as the likes of Mo Salah, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku can testify.

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Ruben Sammut's Sunderland trial  Empty Re: Ruben Sammut's Sunderland trial

Post  gil t azell on 2019-02-27, 5:48 pm

Stoke U23s looked huge compared to our lads. They were faster, harder and seemed more determined.

Having said that young Benji's goal was on a par with Mcgreadys.
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