With Sunderland’s 48-year-long trophy drought now dead and buried, the Mackems can start looking towards a brighter future under Kyril Louis-Dreyfus.
Sunderland’s new owner has immense hunger and the club are already reaping the rewards from a change in hand at the top.
Louis-Dreyfus hasn’t really had a chance to be involved in Sunderland’s recruitment yet but the club are already targeting new players ahead of next season.
Jermain Defoe has been mentioned as someone who could come to the Stadium of Light, but for now, the focus is on youth.
According to Chronicle Live, the Black Cats have taken Gateshead’s Danny Greenfield on trial for two weeks.
The 20-year-old has caught the eye in the middle of the park for the National League North side and is being watched by a number of EFL sides.
Sunderland have been the first to act and will now take a closer look at Greenfield over the next fortnight.
The midfielder was once on the books of Manchester United and Barnsley.
It’s thought that if Greenfield does sign for the Mackems on a permanent basis then he’ll initially link up with the U23 side.
This has been a part of the club that’s been neglected by the previous owners so it bodes well that Louis-Dreyfus is already looking to build on the academy.
He said when he first joined the club: “I look forward to supporting our new academy leadership group as we strive to deliver a best-in-class youth system with a clear talent pathway through to the senior squad.”
Indeed, the new owner has been keen to act where others haven’t. He has built a completely new structure at the academy level and is now looking to bring in fresh faces too.
This marks a huge change at the Academy of Light. In recent years, we’ve seen Sunderland as a place where young players are quick to depart. They failed to win a single game last season and you can hardly blame them considering the players they’ve lost.
During Stewart Donald’s tenure, he witnessed Josh Maja, Sam Greenwood, Bali Mumba, Luke Hewitson, Morten Spencer, Joe Hugill and Logan Pye all depart.
However, Louis-Dreyfus has a different vision. He wants to supply young players for the first-team and that may well start with the addition of Greenfield.
He seemingly has a bright future ahead of him and has produced some promising performances for Gateshead this term, registering two assists and scoring once; a wonderful volley from outside the box.
Their player-manager Mike Williamson, once of Newcastle, only has good things to say about him: “He’s done extremely well since he came back, and he is improving so much. We have given him a new contract and told him that he will get opportunities in the side,” he commented.
“He has grabbed it by the scruff of the neck, and he has so much ability,” Williamson concluded.
Greenfield is clearly very gifted; he’d be a smart way to start Louis-Dreyfus’ long-term vision in the north-east.