Sunderland are being linked with a move to sign Lewie Earl for Elliott Dickman’s Under 23s following the teenage defender’s release by Burnley, as Phil Parkinson’s Black Cats are ravished by injuries.
According to The Sun’s Alan Nixon, the Black Cats are taking a look at Earl’s potential ahead of a possible move to bring the 19-year-old to Wearside following Burnley’s decision to release the young defender from their academy this summer.
Earl featured at centre-half as a member of the Clarets’ junior side in a Premier League 2 clash with Newcastle United earlier this season, but was allowed to leave the club after an evidently unsuccessful trial period.
Burnley were the second side Earl has featured for in 2020 having previously spent time in Preston North End’s academy, but left his boyhood side without a senior appearance to his name.
Earl, the younger brother of Preston defender Josh Earl, made a string of outings for the Lilywhites’ U18s in the FA Youth Cup during his time with the Lancashire outfit and scored one goal, coming in a 3-0 win over Norwich City.
Sunderland’s interest in Earl is thought to be a signing viewed towards the future, rather than as immediate first-team cover, per the Chronicle, following injuries to Morgan Feeney, Jordan Willis and Arbenit Xhemajli.
While Burnley opted to release Earl after just one appearance in their Under 23s, the teenage prospect was thought of highly during his time at Preston with LancsLive dubbing the centre-half as one of the Lilywhites’ U18 talents that should get fans excited.
They claimed Earl had every chance of following his brother Josh into senior football as he appears to be a real modern-day centre-half, through his comfortable nature in possession.
Earl is not afraid to get stuck in defensively, either, and could be an ideal free addition for Dickman’s U23s side as Parkinson’s dire defensive situation has gifted the Black Cats the perfect chance to snap up potential future first-team regulars.
Earl will also have a lot of enthusiasm to prove to Preston and Burnley that they were wrong to overlook his potential, and build a successful senior career in years to come.