Sunderland have unearthed a potential successor for Jack Clarke, who is due to leave this summer.

One Sunderland starlet has performed admirably on loan this season.
Three games. Two hundred seventy minutes of football. If stories and gut impressions are to be accepted, Sunderland may only have that much time before losing Jack Clarke this summer. It has always seemed as if the winger will be a Premier League player by the start of next season, and with the Black Cats on track for a thoroughly dreary mid-table finish, the popular expectation on Wearside is that the talismanic attacker is set for a big money escape.

He may not, however, be the only one. Alongside Clarke, Sunderland continue to face simmering interest in the likes of Dan Neil, Dan Ballard, Trai Hume, and, according to recent whispers, Anthony Patterson. The young goalkeeper is said to be a target for Liverpool, who could be in the market for an understudy to Brazilian number one Alisson Becker if longtime deputy Caoimhin Kelleher is finally allowed to seek first team football elsewhere in the coming months.
And if the Reds do make good on their apparent courtship, then Sunderland could be left with a huge vacuum to fill between the sticks. Indeed, for the sake of context, it is worth reiterating that Patterson has now played 105 games in a row for his boyhood club, and that as of last week’s stalemate with Leeds United, only three goalkeepers in the Championship had a higher prevented xG tally than the 23-year-old.
To worsen things further, neither Nathan Bishop or Alex Bass, Sunderland’s other recognisable senior goalkeeping options, have shown anything to suggest that they could seamlessly replace Patterson. As such, a new acquisition would be likely. Unless, of course, the Black Cats went with the rogue option.

Leeds exit confirmed as Premier League club target Sunderland star - Mirror  Online
Matty Young is just 17 years old. He won’t be 18 until November. For the past couple of months, however, he has been out on loan in the National League North with Darlington. In the 13 appearances that he has made for the Quakers, the teenager has kept four clean sheets, conceded 13 goals, and been on the winning side on 10 separate occasions. The impact that he has made in County Durham has been so profound, in fact, that you would imagine when he is eventually old enough to drink, it will be quite a while before he has to buy himself a pint in Darlo or the surrounding area.

The Sunderland academy starlet ready to replace key first team player

While it may not always be the most precise or trustworthy science, a quick study of supporter reactions to his departure from the non-league club would indicate that the youngster (that is not a lame moniker, by the way) is a rare talent. The people of Darlington are in deep mourning, and those who have seen Young firsthand appear sure that it is only a matter of time until he establishes himself as Sunderland’s unquestioned first choice.

Now, clearly, the ideal situation would be to return him to his parent club and let him grow in the shadow of Patterson for a year or two before promoting him when his buddy eventually leaves. Imagine a conveyor belt full of Mackem stoppers. However, with the big boys prowling and rumors abound, Sunderland’s process could be accelerated by events beyond their control.

If that happens, perhaps they should give Young a chance. Yes, he is outrageously, well, young, but the common agreement is that he plays with a controlled self-assurance that hugely defies his tender age, and it is not as if the Black Cats have any reservations about trusting him.

Kids from any other area of the pitch. Maybe the starlet will get his chance at the Stadium of Light sooner rather than later, or perhaps he will have to wait. Perhaps he will be loaned out to a Football League club ahead of next season so that he can continue to develop on the rapid path that he has seamlessly assumed in recent weeks. Only time will tell, but one thing is certain: whenever he is needed, Sunderland already has a Patterson replacement waiting in the wings.

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