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Unsung Hero: Tom Flanagan has given Sunderland manager Phil Parkinson a selection dilemma

Unsung Hero: Tom Flanagan has given Sunderland manager Phil Parkinson a selection dilemma

Tom Flanagan has had to show a lot of patience this season, as he has struggled to get any substantial game time with Sunderland.

He has only started three league games this campaign, as per WhoScored, but has been a regular in the Carabao Cup and, once again, he has given a good account of himself, even if it didn’t result in victory this time around against Oxford United.

In the previous rounds, the 27-year-old scored against Burnley and helped keep a clean sheet against Sheffield United. And while he couldn’t replicate any of these on Tuesday, his performance could give Parkinson a selection dilemma when it comes to league games.

He was the highest-rated of the Black Cats’ back three, as per SofaScore, being given an eventual number of 6.9.

This comes after he made 4 clearances, 1 interception and 3 tackles during the game, while also winning 4 ground duels and 9 aerial duels.

Perhaps surprisingly, he also showed potential going forward, as he completed 2 key passes throughout the game.

It may seem like a long time since Parkinson took over from Jack Ross, but it has only been around two weeks, so it is unlikely he will be completely set on the best team he can put out.

This means that the fringe players on show against Oxford had the opportunity to convince the manager they should be in the team for league games, and Flanagan has likely ensured that Parkinson will at least be considering him going forward.

Can Duncan Watmore still come good after his injury hell?

Yes

Yes

No

No

Sunderland fans, what did you make of Flanagan’s performance? Join the discussion by commenting below…

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