The Sunderland academy players who deserve a first team opportunity

Tommy Watson

Arguably the most deserving player on this list, Watson has had a brilliant debut year in the Premier League 2. The 17-year-old has played 11 games registering 3 goals and 3 assists from the left wing, helping Sunderland earn a PL2 playoff place. Easington born Tommy has already made 2 championship appearances for his boyhood club, while featuring in the matchday squad numerous times. Watson’s style of play is scary similar to Jack Clarke, both players love to get to the byline and put a cross into the box, however both are capable of scoring a screamer out of nothing. Watson has received plenty of praise from Sunderland fans on social media with many believing he should have been given more game time in the first team.

Caden Kelly

Now 20 years old, Caden Kelly is approaching an age where he needs to be playing regular first team football. Having signed for the club from Manchester City in 2021, he Irish attacking midfielder has had a quality season in red and white. Kelly registered an impressive 2 goals and 5 assists in just 10 Premier League 2 games. Next season looks to be a huge season for Kelly, but whether that is with Sunderland is yet to be seen, with his contract expiring next month.

Oliver Bainbridge

The towering left back has had an impressive season in the Premier League 2. Bainbridge has made 16 appearances, contributing 1 goal and 2 assists from defence. The full backs impressive performances for Graeme Murty’s side has attracted interest from Premier League side Everton. Alongside his teammate Tommy Watson, Bainbridge has also featured in the first team matchday squad, however he is yet to make his first team debut.