A major update has emerged on AFC Wimbledon centre-back Terell Thomas, and it could lead to a huge gaffe from Sunderland sporting director Kristjaan Speakman.
According to the Daily Mail, Sunderland are one of the clubs monitoring the centre-back’s situation. The defender is out of contract at the end of the month and the Black Cats are weighing up a swoop for the former Arsenal man.
Thomas is said to be attracting interest from the Championship, with Bristol City and Barnsley keen, but he has been out of action since January. He has not played a competitive game for AFC Wimbledon for five months after unfortunately contracting pneumonia.
Sunderland fans would surely be devastated if the club opted to sign Thomas from Wimbledon instead of going all-out for Wolves defender Dion Sanderson. According to Football Insider, the Black Cats target is set to leave Wolves on a permanent basis this summer and the Premier League club want a fee in the region of £2m for the centre-back, who spent last season on loan to Sunderland.
The Wearsiders are said to be preparing a bid as they attempt to bring him back to the Stadium of Light, but Thomas could be viewed as an alternative option.
Sanderson caught the eye with a series of impressive displays at centre-back for Sunderland last term. He averaged an impressive WhoScored rating of 6.88 in 17 starts at centre-back and still has plenty of scope to improve at the age of 21.
Thomas, meanwhile, was struggling badly prior to his spell out through illness. The former Arsenal man managed only one WhoScored rating higher than 6.75 in his last 10 League One appearances for AFC Wimbledon, and in seven of those games, he scored 6.53 or lower as he failed to impress at the back.
Therefore, Speakman could be heading for a major gaffe over the £600-per-week defender. Not only is he severely lacking in match practice due to his recent ailment, he was not putting in good performances at League One level in the months leading up to his absence, which suggests that he may not be able to hit the ground running at Sunderland next season.
Sanderson, on the other hand, played as recently as March and posted WhoScored ratings of 7.02 or higher in five of his last seven League One games. He is also already accustomed to what Lee Johnson wants from his Sunderland players and could settle in quicker than Thomas, which is another reason as to why Sunderland fans could be devastated if the club goes for the AFC Wimbledon man instead this summer.