Adam Johnson in line for Sunderland start at Arsenal

Adam Johnson in action for Sunderland against Leicester City
Adam Johnson in action for Sunderland against Leicester City

Adam Johnson could be recalled to the Sunderland line-up for the last two games of the season after Dick Advocaat hinted at the winger’s importance for the season’s finale.

Johnson has not started for Sunderland since February’s defeat at Manchester United after being arrested and then charged with three offences of sexual activity with a child under 16 and one of grooming,

From the moment he came on, Johnson changed the game a little bit.

Dick Advocaat

The 27-year-old is due to appear at Peterlee Magistrates Court today after his court date was moved forward 48 hours to avoid clashing with Wednesday’s trip to Arsenal.

But for the second successive game, Johnson made a bright impression as a substitute in Saturday’s 0-0 draw against Leicester, as he injected some much-needed creativity into Sunderland’s ranks – and could start the last two games at Arsenal and then Chelsea on Sunday.

Advocaat said: “From the moment he came on, Johnson changed the game a little bit, but unfortunately this season, he hasn’t been there.

“Hopefully he can play the next two games.

“Overall, I cannot have too many complaints against Leicester, because the players gave everything for the club.

“Then you need a bit of luck like we had against Everton.

“But it was very crowded in the penalty area, so that’s when you need someone like Johnson.

“We got that at the end with Adam.”

Johnson’s potential inclusion reinforces Advocaat’s claim that he will not “park the bus” at Arsenal, even though a point will suffice for Sunderland.

Advocaat believes playing for a draw would be a dangerous game-plan considering the array of attacking talent in Arsenal’s ranks.

“If you go out there to defend, then they have so much individual quality,” he added.

“You have to try to play your own game and then maybe you have a chance.

“The circumstances are excellent, great stadium, excellent pitch, a team that likes to play football.

“Let’s find that one point we still need.”