Sunderland boss Lee Johnson has admitted that conversations have been had with Wolves over starlet defender Dion Sanderson.

Sanderson was signed for the Black Cats by Johnson’s predecessor, Phil Parkinson and Wolves are a little concerned at his lack of game time with the Wearsiders.

Who is Dion Sanderson?

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21-year-old Wednesfield-born Sanderson has come through the ranks at the  Black Country side. He made the progression from their Under-18s to the Under-23 set-up at the start of July 2018.

Since then, the youngster has made 27 appearances (two goals/two assists) at Under-23 level as well as a single game for the first-team at Molineaux.

He spent a half-season out on loan in the Sky Bet Championship with Cardiff during the 2020 part of their 2019/20 campaign. In this spell, he made 10 appearances – providing two assists for the Bluebirds.

Wolves and Sunderland – the concerns

Since signing on at Sunderland for this season, Sanderson has only made eight appearances across all competitions – six in League One.

This has led to a degree of concern at Molineaux that their asset is not being exposed to enough football.

Per the Sunderland Echo (link above), Lee Johnson is aware of this and addresses it head-on. Commenting directly on Wolves’ concerns, Johnson said:

Johnson held constructive talks with Wolves in the early stages of his tenure and is hopeful that he has convinced the Premier League club that there will be regular opportunities ahead.

I’d like to keep him, first and foremost.

I had a discussion with Wolves about that quite early [in my tenure] and I think they were understandably a little bit frustrated with his game time.

Citing the upcoming raft of games that sides face, Black Cats boss Johnson says that having Sanderson will be vital and indicates just how highly he thinks of the youngster. Indicating this, Johnson says:

Technically, he’s as good as anything in the division in terms of being a ball-playing centre half. Physically he’s big and has a good frame, but there’s still maturation to come in terms of muscle mass etc. Tactically, he’s a young lad learning his game. He’s got a good future and I’m very grateful to have him here in the building.

There is a lot of the season to go for League One sides like Sunderland. That means there will be increased chances for Lee Johnson to use Sanderson.

Biographical details derived from Dion Sanderson’s player profile and stats pages on Transfermarkt website.

Should Wolves recall Dion Sanderson citing lack of game time or trust Sunderland?

Recall Sanderson.

Wolves to bring him back.

Leave Sanderson.