The Sunderland Echo’s James Copley appeared on the latest edition of The Roar Podcast, during which he spent some time talking about Black Cats midfielder George Dobson’s future.
This comes after Sunderland manager Lee Johnson recently confirmed that the 23-year-old, who has just over a year remaining on his Black Cats contract, has received offers from other clubs, but has thus far decided not to take any of them.
Johnson also indicated that the North East club would not stand in Dobson’s way if he were to secure a move away from The Stadium of Light this month.
Now, Copley has shared his thoughts on the £90k-rated man’s future, as he declared that the number of central midfield options Sunderland have got at present, following the signing of Carl Winchester, signals the end for him at Sunderland, indicating that this strength in depth is the reason Dobson is now viewed as being surplus to requirements.
He said: “In midfield as well, if we take [Max] Power and [Luke] O’Nien that can play there, there’s obviously [Josh] Scowen and [Grant] Leadbitter, Carl Winchester’s come in, Dan Neil against Port Vale was good, although he picked up a knock, and Elliot Embleton – although he does play a little bit further forward – could drop into those midfield spots.
“I know Lee Johnson’s talked about it, but that could sort of signal the end for George Dobson in a Sunderland shirt. I know he hasn’t gone yet, but Sunderland seem to have a lot of options in midfield, even with Power and O’Nien playing at right-back; although Dan Neil has been linked with a move away, that squad seems to be very crowded at the moment.
“As Mark said, if Sunderland want to bring in a player over the salary cap, someone’s going to have to leave, aren’t they?”
Should Dobson be sold?
TIF Thoughts on what Copley had to say about Dobson…
Perhaps it’s not a surprise that Johnson seemingly wants to be rid of Dobson, given that it may be fair to say the 23-year-old has not played a very significant role for the North East club this term – featuring in just five of their 19 League One games – nor has he performed particularly well in those games, with the midfielder earning an average overall rating of just 6.22 from his five League One appearances so far, per WhoScored, a lower rating than as many as 19 other Black Cats players have earned.
With all of this in mind, it seems somewhat inevitable that the future of the Sunderland man, who is said to have very weak discipline, according to WhoScored, lies elsewhere and it will be interesting to see if he does ultimately move on this month.