An update has emerged on Sunderland’s pursuit of Exeter right-back Josh Key.
Sky Sports reporter Tom White has revealed that the League One side have been chasing the defender all summer. The journalist said that the Black Cats have had multiple bids turned down for the 21-year-old and are willing to spend a decent fee on his services.
“I saw a few conspiracy theories going around that the club had leaked that information to try and appease the fans as we hadn’t signed anyone at that stage.
“Well I can assure you that story is absolutely not true, we’ve been in for Josh Key from Exeter all summer and haven’t been able to get him. I don’t know if that deal is off now that we’ve signed [Niall] Huggins but we were absolutely in for him and would spend quite a bit of money on him.”
Sunderland fans will be delighted by this update as it shows that the club have been working their socks off to get a deal done for Key. They have been chasing him throughout the summer and made a number of bids, which means that they are serious about bringing him in, and supporters must be glad to see their club showing ambition in the transfer window.
Whilst their hard work has not paid off as of yet, Kristjaan Speakman still has a week to try and negotiate a deal for the right-back. He has put the legwork in over the summer and is now entering the clutch time of the window, where he needs to earn his corn and secure the 21-year-old’s services for Lee Johnson’s squad.
Recent signing Niall Huggins is currently the only natural right-back option in the squad and he has played one senior match in his career, which came as a substitute in the Premier League for Leeds. This means that Sunderland could end up relying on an inexperienced player if they fail to bring another right-back option into the squad.
Therefore, fans could be buzzing to see a player like Key potentially coming in. The Exter man has started four matches in League Two this season, having played 43 times last term for the club. He averaged a WhoScored rating of 6.82 in the 2020/21 campaign and has started this year with an average of 6.99, winning 4.5 aerial battles and 1.5 tackles per game.
This suggests that he has the quality required to make the step up to League One, as he has been able to stand out with his performances in League Two. Sunderland fans will surely now be hoping that Speakman can work his magic in the final week of the window to bring the 21-year-old to the Stadium of Light to provide competition for Huggins at right-back.