Kevin Phillips has told Sunderland loanee Dion Sanderson that joining their arch-rivals Newcastle this summer would not be ‘worth the hassle’.
Phillips was speaking to Football Insider, who named the Magpies as one of the suitors for the Wolves defender.
Sanderson has averaged 2.2 successful aerial duels and 2.6 clearances per game, along with an 82% passing accuracy, for the Black Cats this season. He has only been dribbled past 0.2 times per 90 minutes on average (via WhoScored).
He has been a key part of their push for promotion back to the Championship as they currently sit in third place with games in hand on the teams above them.
Sanderson offered advice by Phillips
Phillips believes that the 21-year-old will ‘get better and better’, but feels that St James’ Park is not the right destination for him.
“Sanderson would be a very brave lad if he was to step across and play for Newcastle after playing for Sunderland,” the former Mackems striker said.
“My advice to him would be ‘don’t do it’. It would not be worth the hassle. He has proven this season that he is going to get better and better.”
Competition for Sanderson inevitable
Crystal Palace and Sheffield United are also said to be among the interested parties for the 21-year-old, but Sunderland may be able to compete if they can secure the financial boost associated with promotion.
“It will not just be Newcastle sniffing around him, I am sure there will be a few other clubs as well,” Phillips said.
“It is going to be difficult for Sunderland to sign him permanently this summer but I would be very surprised if he went to Newcastle, put it that way.”
Transfer Tavern verdict
Given the plaudits Sanderson is receiving and his impressive statistics in 2020/21, it seems surprising that Wolves haven’t decided that they want to keep him.
A fee of £2m looks as if it would be a snip, but as Phillips has hinted, there’s no doubt that Newcastle are automatically on the backfoot given Sanderson’s Stadium of Light connections.
Sunderland may actually be best-placed to seal his signature, provided they can offer him regular football if they get into the Championship.
In other news, find out what takeover claim Phillips made about Mike Ashley.
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