Alex Neil challenges new Sunderland goalkeeper Alex Bass following move from Portsmouth

Alex Neil has challenged Alex Bass to push Anthony Patterson for regular football after completing his switch to Wearside.

Goalkeeper Alex Bass
Goalkeeper Alex Bass

Sunderland have paid an undisclosed fee for the 24-year-old, who has signed a three-year deal. The Black Cats also have the option to trigger a fourth year.

Bass broke through into Portsmouth’s side during 2019/20 campaign, but found game time limited last season after Danny Cowley recruited Gavin Bazunu on loan from Manchester City.

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The goalkeeper instead spent the second half of the campaign on loan at Bradford City, and was made available for transfer after Portsmouth signed Josh Griffiths on loan from West Brom Albion.

Patterson is expected to start the season as number one after agreeing a new long-term contract earlier this season, but Neil insists Bass has the quality to compete.

“We know that we needed to add competition in the goalkeeping department and Alex fits our model in terms of signing another young and up-and-coming player,” Neil said.

"He’s big lad and he’s got quality - and he’s brave – so now his job is to push Anthony Patterson and force his way into the team. He’s played games, but he’s of an age profile whereby his best years are ahead of him, so we believe that he’s a good fit for us. Hopefully he can add to his current experience and continue to develop into a really good goalkeeper.”

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Bass had been expected to move to a League One club but said he was ‘desperate’ to move to Sunderland.

"I’m absolutely delighted to be here and as soon as I heard about the opportunity to come to Sunderland, I was desperate to take it, he said.

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"This is a massive club and the move represents a great chance for me to test myself in the Championship, which is filled with talented players.

"Sunderland had a great run last season and to earn promotion through the play-offs is always tough, so it shows there is a great bunch of lads here. I went out on loan earlier this year and it was important to get out there and play games, but now I want to push on and I’m excited to play my part at the Stadium of Light.”