Sunderland U23 captain Thomas Robson has left the club on loan, joining Irish side Limerick until the end of the season.

The left-back played his last game of the season for the Black Cats’ U23 side last Wednesday evening, when they reached the semi-finals of the Premier League International Cup by beating Athletic Bilbao 2-0 at the Stadium of Light.

Fans may remember the 21-year-old making his Premier League debut for the Wearsiders in last season’s 2-2 away draw against Watford in the final game of the campaign, alongside his U23 team-mates George Honeyman and Rees Greenwood.

Limerick manager Martin Russell said that the decision to bring in Robson until the end of the season is due to the League of Ireland side being “a little bit light in [defence] going into the new season”.

Russell added that “you would expect there to be a bit of pedigree there” given that Robson has appeared in the Premier League for Sunderland.

The move does send a signal that Robson would not have been involved in Sunderland’s relegation run-in for the remainder of the season, despite Bryan Oviedo currently being the only recognised left-back in the first-team.

Robson’s loan move follows a few other youngsters leaving the club temporarily in recent weeks with Tom Beadling, Andrew Nelson and Oliver Pain also sealing loan moves to Bury, Hartlepool United and Motherwell respectively.