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Sunderland: Kevin Phillips has high hopes for summer arrival Will Harris

Sunderland: Kevin Phillips has high hopes for summer arrival Will Harris - Sunderland News

Former Sunderland striker Kevin Phillips has predicted big things for the club’s newly-signed under-23 player Will Harris.

The Black Cats’ academy teams had a disastrous 2019/20 season which saw both the under-18 and under-23 sides fail to record a single victory in their respective league campaigns.

Following such poor performances, Paul Reid left his role as academy manager, prompting concern and mounting speculation over the future of the Wearside club’s Tier 1 academy status.

Numerous player exits amplified such concerns, but three new faces have bolstered the underage ranks since in Sam Wilding, Bobby Beaumont and Vinnie Steels, whilst Kenton Richardson has also signed.

Following those additions to Sunderland’s youth ranks, a fifth arrival was also confirmed as Harris put pen to paper on a one-year deal with Sunderland after leaving Burnley last month when his contract expired.

The 19-year-old striker joins the Black Cats after a three-year spell with the Clarets which included loan spells with non-league sides Colne FC and Warrington Town.

Touching on his arrival at the Stadium of Light, Phillips has predicted big things for the youngster, telling Football Insider: “There is definitely a chance for him to make an impact on that first team next season.

“If that was me I would be looking to get him involved with the first team straight away, maybe get him into training a couple of times a week and bleed him in gently.

“You do not want to put too much pressure on him but he could turn out to be one of these young players who is eager to impress, especially if he is a local lad. He will work hard and know better than anyone that if you start doing well at that football club you become a bit of a hero.

“He could go under the radar, a bit like when I first went there. Anything is possible and he might be a good back up option for Phil Parkinson.” 

These are big words from Phillips and could hand Sunderland first team manager Phil Parkinson some food for thought.

With a lack of consistent scorers in the senior Black Cats squad, Harris could well take his chance at that level if he is given it, and that would be a delight for Parkinson and the club’s fans who may be crying out for a reliable source of goals.

Do you think Harris could make an impact at Sunderland? Let us know your views in the comments section below…

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Article title: Sunderland: Kevin Phillips has high hopes for summer arrival Will Harris

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