An update has emerged regarding Sunderland’s interest in Ryan Alebisou.
Sky Sports reporter Tom White has revealed that the Black Cats are interested in signing the 19-year-old right-back on loan from Arsenal before the end of the month.
White claims that the Wearsiders are in talks with the Premier League club over a potential deal, although they are yet to make an official offer for the defender.
He told the Roker Rapport podcast, via Football League World: “We are in for a player from Arsenal called Ryan Alebiosu. Never seen him play, hadn’t heard of him until someone told me about him. We’re in for him but at this stage it’s only in talks. He’s a full-back, don’t even know if he’s right or left.
“This guy from Arsenal, Alebiosu, that would be a loan but at this stage we haven’t actually made the offer. It’s just a case of “in talks.”
Kristjaan Speakman must ensure that these talks with Arsenal are successful. Alebiosu could be an exciting addition to Lee Johnson’s squad in an area which needs more depth.
Summer signings Niall Huggins and Dennis Cirkin are currently the only natural full-back options for Johnson, although the likes of Luke O’Nien, Carl Winchester and Dan Neil are capable of playing there. Therefore, adding Alebiosu could provide competition at full-back whilst allowing O’Nien, Neil and Winchester to play in their favoured positions instead of needing to plug holes in the team.
The teenager’s agent Roberto De Fanti has gone as far as to say that he could follow in the footsteps of Arsenal team-mate Bukayo Saka.
He told CaughtOffside: “Ryan [Alebiosu] has to first show his qualities with the under 23s; once he has shown he can make the difference in the category he will surely be considered for the first team.
“He is a very talented footballer, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he follow the footprints of Bukayo Saka. I am very excited because I think that Arsenal is the best club for a player like him to develop.”
Given that Saka has been capped nine times by England and made 90 senior appearances for Arsenal at the age of 19, this is some praise from De Fanti. If Alebiosu can get anywhere near that sort of level, then Sunderland will be laughing at having a talent of that quality in League One.
The youngster can play left-back, right-back and on the wing, making him a versatile option for Johnson to call upon on Wearside. Along with the competition he would provide and his potential, that is why Speakman must get this deal over the line.