Sunderland boss Phil Parkinson has praised the ‘growth‘ of youngster Dan Neil after his performance in the EFL Trophy win over Aston Villa’s under-21 side on Tuesday evening.
With the Black Cats failing to secure promotion last season and much controversy around the club’s ownership, one bright spark has emerged from the club’s youth setup in Neil.
The young talent has been a regular for the Black Cats’ under-23 side, with 13 appearances to his name last season in Premier League 2.
Having been linked with a potential summer exit amid interest from Premier League duo Wolves and Leeds United, Neil is now set to remain with the Black Cats through the 2020/2021 season.
“At the start, the game was quite frenetic, but I thought Dan grew into the game and did well,” Parkinson is quoted as saying by Sunderland Echo.
“I just said to him after he’s just got to learn that he doesn’t have to try something every time he gets the ball, sometimes he just has to keep it simple and wait for the moments.”
The 8-1 rout over Villa’s under-21 side saw Charlie Wyke (2), Josh Scowen, Max Power, Danny Graham, George Dobson, Aiden O’Brien and Morgan Feeney all find the target, putting Sunderland in fine stead for Saturday’s League One opener against Bristol Rovers.
Neil is offering Parkinson and Sunderland fans a potential homegrown gem, based by the manager’s assessment of his performance last night.
The young talent’s reported interest from Wolves and Leeds hints at his potential and growing reputation, and if he showcases just why that is the case over the course of the season, Parkinson could have a fantastic player on his hands.
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