New Sunderland AFC boss Lee Johnson has been dealt the first major blow of his tenure at the Stadium of Light this week…
The Black Cats could be without starting left-back Denver Hume until at least the New Year, the 39-year-old revealed in his pre-game press conference yesterday.
“Denver picked up a hamstring problem and my guesstimate is that he will be out for three to four weeks with that. It’s frustrating because it’s a muscle injury. In six weeks’ time, I’ll take responsibility for those.
“I don’t want to see muscle injuries, but in this time of Covid muscle injuries have been up 45 per cent across the board, really, from the Premier League down to League Two – it’s a byproduct of having so many games in quick succession.”
Sunderland were defeated by Wigan Athletic on Saturday with the visitors ending a ten-game winless run. Hume hobbled off just after half an hour, and now it appears to be a bad one.
Well, now with the 22-year-old out for not only tonight’s match against Oldham Athletic but also their crucial upcoming League One fixtures, it gives Johnson a massive decision over who takes the reins in his absence.
Indeed, the young Academy of Light graduate is the only out-and-out left-back in their ranks right now. Left-midfielder Callum McFadzean replaced him at the weekend, so it’s likely he deputises but it could leave the club with something to think about during the January transfer window.
In 14 starts this term, Hume has delivered two assists whilst averaging 1.8 tackles, 1.8 key passes, 1.5 crosses, 1.4 dribbles and 1.1 shots per game, via WhoScored.
Evidently, the dynamo has been a crucial influence at either end of the pitch, bombing down that left flank. No other Black Cat is averaging more tackles whilst only Chris Maguire has managed a better rate of key passes.
This time last year, Sunderland legend Gary Bennett claimed that the side looked “dangerous” was when Hume was one the ball, adding: “He gets the ball and brings a little bit more tempo into the game and goes past people. He’s direct and he causes one or two more problems.”
Whilst Elliott Dickman, former U18 head coach now in charge of the U23s, tipped him for stardom as he claimed Hume had done “terrific” in the youth set-up, as per safc.com (via 90min).
The Black Cats are ever so much weaker without the 22-year-old sensation, so it could be devastating for them this month.