Dion Sanderson has put on some incredible performances since mid-February causing some speculation around the 21-year-old Wolves loanee’s future.
Dion’s start at the club was a struggle under Phil Parkinson as he only played three times, twice of which were as 90th minute substitutes which left his parent club angry at his lack of playing time. All of that changed after Parkinson got the boot with Lee Johnson stating that Sanderson was very much a part of the team in January.
Since then, Sanderson has started the last 10 games for us and has been a vital member of the starting 11 which has taken us up the table into third.
Keeping seven clean sheets and even scoring once the 21-year-old has shown some decent on the ball ability in the recent games achieving a pass completion rate of 83% and an average of 39 passes per game in his 22 appearances for us.
Dion’s strengths lie in his concentration and ability to move the ball on so we can start an attack, with the threat of experienced, physical strikers attacking him not phasing him at all. His concentration and dedication to getting a result keeps his emotions in check, with little to no answer coming to those who try to get under his skin, a very mature and impressive trait to have at such a young age.
At age 21 he obviously still has a lot to learn, something that definitely will improve with time are his defensive abilities, averaging only one tackle per game leaves a lot more to be desired. Something I imaging Wolves are very much aware of, but for a 21-year-old averaging a match rating of 7.1 in his last 10 games there is clearly something special in the making.
SPECULATION AND VERDICT
Sanderson’s recent form has created a lot of speculation about the future of his career.
His great form is something Sunderland fans would love to see next season but there will be tough competition should Wolves look to loan him back out or ultimately sell. Considering Sanderson will only have a year left on his Wolves contract come the end of the season the club will have to make a choice between offering the youngster a new contract or selling him before the end of next season should the Premier League club want anything but pennies for the youngster's signature.
Lee Johnson knows it will be a challenge to re-sign the “Rolls Royce” of a player should the club want to, especially with the likes of Crystal Palace, Brighton and Huddersfield reportedly interested in Sanderson.
He's said himself, he already sees his future playing for his boyhood club Wolves in the Premier League which most likely rules out any permanent move for the player this summer unless Wolves really want to offload him.
However, Wolves may want to send him back out on loan in a higher division, either to a smaller Premier League side or a Championship team. Should we get promoted at the end of the season, there is no reason Sanderson could not spend another year on loan on Wearside.
Ultimately, we should enjoy Dion Sanderson whilst he is here for the rest of the season as the second half of his loan has been incredible. Then in the summer we can see what happens regarding another loan or maybe more, but don’t get too attached just yet!