After missing out on promotion back to the Championship last time around, Jack Ross and Sunderland will be eager to go one better and make their way back up the Football League.
It was play-off heartache for Sunderland in the 2018/19 season, with Charlton Athletic’s Patrick Bauer scoring a last-minute winner at Wembley to secure a return to the second tier of English football.
Now the club are out for revenge and finding a balance between youth and experience within their squad could be the difference for them his time around and you can imagine several betting apps will be backing the former Premier League side to be among the promotion contenders.
The club will be eager to add to their squad to ensure that they do not miss out on promotion again and one player who could turn out to be something of a surprise package is young Scottish midfielder, Ruben Sammut.
The Black Cats will no doubt be among favourites for promotion to the Championship and supporters can back their team with this site https://bettingapps.org/ after seeing the likes of Sammut arrive over the summer.
Released by Chelsea at the end of his contract, Sammut is looking to forge a career for himself at senior level. Considering his options over the summer, the midfielder joined Sunderland on trial in a bid to prove his worth to Ross and try and earn a professional deal.
Highly rated as a youngster, Sammut was hailed for his technical ability, vision and leadership, but things weren’t to be for him at Chelsea. Such is the difficulty of breaking through at Stamford Bridge, a long-term future in London was always considered unlikely and a move to leave the club is one that Sammut would have been expecting for some time, despite captaining the club at youth level.
Sammut spent last season on loan in Scotland with Championship side Falkirk but wasn’t quite able to make his mark on the club, despite arriving with plenty of high hopes behind him. Regular game time was hard to come by over the course of the season, with Sammut limited to just 10 appearances in all competitions.
The Scottish youth international now arrives at Sunderland with a point to prove at senior level and Ross could be the manager to unlock the potential that he has threatened to show on so many occasions.
It appeared that Sammut was going to slot straight into the club’s academy set-up, but with Ross previously showing his willingness to work with younger players and develop them, there could be an opening for someone like the ex-Chelsea starlet.
The midfielder has been heavily involved in Sunderland’s pre-season plans, which is perhaps a sign that he is being viewed as a first-team player, rather than someone who is going to come through the ranks in years to come.
Should this not then be the case, it would have done Sammut no harm by making an immediate impression on the manager, who would have had the opportunity to get an up-close and personal look at him and see exactly what he is capable of in a first-team environment.
You only have to look at the work that Ross has done with a player like Lewis Morgan, who joined the club on loan towards the end of last season from Celtic, having previously worked with the manager in Scotland, to see his attitude towards youngsters.
With promising duo Elliot Embleton and Benji Kimpioka also getting supporters excited, Sunderland could boast a youthful core to their squad ahead of the new League One campaign.