Crewe boss says a summer switch to Sunderland, Wycombe or League One rivals for Owen Dale would be a ‘sideways move’

Crewe boss David Artell has revealed they are yet to receive any bids for any of their players – and says a move to another League One club for Sunderland-linked Owen Dale would be a ‘sideways move’.
Owen Dale of Crewe Alexandra.Owen Dale of Crewe Alexandra.
Owen Dale of Crewe Alexandra.

The 22-year-old forward is in demand this summer with a number of clubs already linked with him this summer including the Black Cats and Wycombe Wanderers, amid weekend reports they had made the first move with a ‘low offer’.

Preston North End and Blackburn Rovers have also been linked.

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However, Crewe boss Artell has confirmed the club have not received any bids for their players, so far, this summer.

Artell told the club website: “We have received no offers for any of our players. I have been told that there might be and am aware of speculation but the club hasn’t received anything.

“It is like anything. If they submit a bid and it reaches the valuation of the player then we will take it from there. Until that happens, it is pure speculation.

“I have heard that Owen (Dale) has been linked to a few clubs. He is a good player and we will see what happens.

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“He has had a good season and has come about because of our investment in his development. He is a great kid and has a great attitude.

“Is he ready to step up a level? I am not sure yet and I honestly think that he has to look at moving up a league because I think that any move to a League One club would be a sideways move.

“In my opinion he still has a way to go and he is contracted here and I am not losing any sleep over where Owen (Dale) will be next season.”

Sunderland head coach Lee Johnson, Kristjaan Speakman and the club’s recruitment team are currently assessing a number of potential targets ahead of a first foray into the market.

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Sunderland have already allowed seven players to leave the club following the expiration of their contracts, while talks remain ongoing with Charlie Wyke, Denver Hume, Aiden McGeady and Luke O’Nien on extending their stays.

But even if all of the quartet put pen to paper, it’s set to be a busy summer when it comes to incomings at the Stadium of Light.

And sporting director Speakman offered an update on the type of players that the club will be pursuing this summer during the latest structured dialogue meeting between club officials and fans.

The notes from the meeting state that Speakman said that Sunderland will be looking for ‘industrious players, who make bold decisions and have creativity.’

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Sunderland return to pre-season training in a few weeks and face Spennymoor Town on July 3, their first confirmed pre-season game of the summer.

The Black Cats are targeting promotion back to the Championship at the fourth attempt when the 2021-22 campaign gets underway in August.

Sunderland were knocked out of the League One play-offs by Lincoln City last month.