Sunderland are closing in on a deal to bring Jack McIntyre to the Stadium of Light this summer.
In recent comments cited by Chronicle Live, the Black Cats development coach Elliot Dickman revealed that his side are keen on the signing of the former Everton goalkeeper, who has been in training with the Mackems since his release by the Toffees at the end of last season.
Dickman said: “Jack has been with us for most of pre-season and he has done very well. We’re trying to make it a permanent move, but it’s not easy sometimes.
“He’s still got things to work on, but he missed a lot of football due to an injury when he was at Everton. I’ve been really pleased with some of his games in pre-season, and with some of the things he did [on Monday].”
While many Sunderland fans may fail to see the importance of McIntyre’s signing, the fact that the Black Cats appear to be taking a very keen interest in adding a number of youth prospects to their ranks this summer should have the Stadium of Light faithful buzzing.
Indeed, while it has been a long and arduous fall from the Premier League to the third division of English football for Sunderland fans to have to endure – something that was caused by a lack of genuine leadership in the boardroom, with heinous overspending on transfer fees and player wages – under the leadership of Kyril Louis-Dreyfus, it appears as if the Mackems are beginning to put this chapter of the club’s history in the past.
Having already signed the promising 18-year-old Jacob Carney following his release from Manchester United this summer, the further addition of another highly-rated prospect in McIntyre is yet further evidence that Louis-Dreyfus and his transfer team are not just planning for the here and now, but also considering the club’s long-term future.
In the past, it’s something that they have very much struggled with – one big example being the Josh Maja saga back in 2019. He’s since gone onto thrive with Bordeaux in the French top-flight, whilst he enjoyed a half-season loan at then-Premier League outfit Fulham back in January.
Long-term planning is something that has, quite clearly, been lacking at the North East club for a considerable amount of time, and, while the signing of an 18-year-old free agent may not get many Mackems excited just yet, should McIntyre go on to develop into a first-team regular – as Dickman clearly believes he has the potential to do – in a couple of years time, the hard work of the Sunderland scouting, transfer and development teams will become evident.