, Everton eye Sunderland defender tipped for imminent breakthrough

Everton eye Sunderland defender tipped for imminent breakthrough

Sunderland youngster Oli Bainbridge is on the Everton transfer radar as he nears a first-team breakthrough on Wearside, according to The Sun.

Sunderland have become renowned for their commitment to developing young players. Be it prospects from their own academy or players recruited from elsewhere, it seems to be the main focus of the Championship side nowadays.

Plenty of players have come through their youth ranks to break into the first-team. Anthony Patterson and Dan Neil are just two who have become senior mainstays in recent seasons.

One tipped to follow in their footsteps is defender Oli Bainbridge, who can play at left-back or centre-back.

Now, The Sun reports that there is a belief he can get into the Sunderland side before the end of the current campaign. His talents have drawn interest from elsewhere though with Everton keeping tabs on Bainbridge.

The 18-year-old has played 14 times for the Black Cats’ U23s after making 57 appearances at U18 level. He was on the bench for the draw with QPR at the weekend too.

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, Everton eye Sunderland defender tipped for imminent breakthrough

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A breakthrough awaits?

Sunderland offer a clear pathway from the academy to the first-team and Bainbridge looks to be following that well-trodden path. After being tipped for a breakthrough in the near future, it certainly seems feasible that he makes his senior debut soon.

Mike Dodds has a lot of injuries in the defensive ranks to contend with so talents like Bainbridge could be called upon before the end of the campaign. His involvement in the matchday squad against QPR shows a debut may be just around the corner.

Everton often look to recruit young talents themselves though so if Bainbridge can make a good impression should he get his chance to catch the eye, expect the Toffees to ramp up their pursuit.

Sunderland sit 12th in the Championship table after picking up their first point since Michael Beale’s exit.

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