Sunderland have a youth academy brimming with talent, but who are the three names that could step-up this season?

Sunderland boasts a burgeoning youth academy with significant talent, and we’re eager to see which three individuals might make a breakthrough this season.

In recent years, Sunderland has become a hub for the emergence of promising young talents.

Under the guidance of Tony Mowbray, a well-defined strategy is in place, with a cadre of highly regarded young players. This approach has already ushered several into the first team, including Jobe Bellingham, while others are on the cusp after progressing through the academy ranks.

Now, let’s introduce the three promising Sunderland prospects who should earn promotions for the remainder of the season:

1. Chris Rigg

Chris Rigg - Special Talent - YouTubeFirst and foremost, we have Chris Rigg, a name that may already ring a bell as he’s had a taste of first-team action, even finding the net in Sunderland’s impressive 5-0 win over Southampton in the Championship. Chris Rigg stands out as one of England’s top young midfielders, a regular for the England under-18 squad. Despite just turning 16 in June, Rigg has already made his debut. It’s our belief that he deserves more opportunities, especially since there’s significant interest from clubs like Manchester United. Clearly, he’s ready for the step up to the first team.

2. Tom Watson

Sunderland youth coach 'delighted' for Chris Rigg and Tommy Watson  following England recognition - Chronicle Live
Another product of the Black Cats academy is Tom Watson, who, although he hasn’t made his first-team debut yet, appears to be on the brink. The Sun reports that Mowbray has been closely monitoring him. Watson also represents England’s under-18 team and, at the age of 17, is seen as a genuine talent within the club. With one goal and one assist in just two youth league appearances this season (across both the under-18 and PL 2 categories), it’s likely that he’s on the verge of getting an opportunity.

3. Jake Waters

Sunderland Under-18s thrash Newcastle United as Chris Rigg contributes to  emphatic result at Darsley Park
The third player to watch is 17-year-old forward Jake Waters. Waters has been impressively prolific in the under-18 Premier League, amassing 14 goals and five assists in 27 games. Standing at 6’3″, he possesses the physical attributes of a dominant striker, and he’s been generating excitement among Sunderland staff ever since he signed his professional contract over the summer. With Mason Burstow not performing at his best, Waters should be granted an opportunity this season to further impress Mowbray.

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