Sunderland ace Dan Neil has revealed that a summer loan move was never talked about amid his breakthrough into the first-team.

Over pre-season and the early stages of the 2021/22 campaign, young midfielder Dan Neil has emerged as a key part of Lee Johnson’s Sunderland plans.

The 19-year-old has starred for the Black Cats, netting his first senior goal in last weekend’s win over Accrington Stanley.

Overall, he has laid on three assists alongside his single goal in seven appearances this season, providing to be one of Sunderland’s most impressive performers so far.

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It was a different tale for Neil last season, playing only seven times despite having an eye on a first-team spot.

However, despite his lack of action last season, Neil has now revealed there was never any discussions over a potential loan move.

As quoted by Chronicle Live, the South Shields-born ace has said he was simply told to prove he was ready for a spot in the starting 11, saying:

“I don’t think there was any talk of a loan move for anyone and it was just basically ‘show us you are ready to take the shirt’.

“Obviously I did well in pre-season so there was no talk of a loan at all.”

The battle to keep his shirt

Given Neil’s impressive outings so far, it will take some serious efforts from Sunderland’s other midfield options to dislodge him from the starting 11.

Luke O’Nien has partnered Neil in the middle of the park, while Corry Evans will be competition once back at full fitness.

Carl Winchester is another option in midfield, but he has been in thoroughly impressive form out at right-back, so we may not see him deployed in his natural role as much, especially with Neil starring.