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Sunderland: Black Cats hold key advantage in Joe Gelhardt race

Sunderland: Black Cats hold key advantage in Joe Gelhardt race -Premier League News

Sunderland have a key advantage in the race to sign Joe Gelhardt, as Tony Mowbray’s track record for developing young players could attract the striker, according to a report.

The Lowdown: Sunderland chasing Gelhardt

As per Football Insider, there is now a three-way race to sign Gelhardt, with Sunderland, Blackburn Rovers and Middlesbrough set to battle it out for his signature before the transfer window shuts next week.

Leeds are said to have given the green light for the striker to leave on loan in January, due to the arrival of Georginio Rutter, and Wigan Athletic were at one point leading the race, but have now dropped down the pecking order.

The Latest: Mowbray could be key

According to a report from Leeds Live, Mowbray’s proven history of developing youngsters could be the decisive factor in a potential deal, rather than signing for the comparatively inexperienced manager in Kolo Toure at Wigan.

All parties are said to be taking as much time as they need to make what is a big decision, and so a deal may not be concluded until later in the window.

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The Verdict: Get it done

The 20-year-old has not been prolific in the Premier League with Leeds, scoring twice and bagging four assists in 35 appearances, but his age has to be taken into account, and this experience in the top flight will still stand him in good stead when he makes a move to the Championship.

Hailed as ‘fantastic’ by the media a little over a year ago, the starlet has time on his side to live up to the superstar description given by journalist Paul Kendrick earlier on his career, but he needs a consistent run in the first team if he is going to do so.

Given that Sunderland have recently lost Ellis Simms, with the striker being recalled by Everton, they are in need of a new option in attack, and Gelhardt could be a very astute signing in the second tier, while a loan agreement means they will also not have to fork out a transfer fee.

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