Why Anthony Patterson signed Sunderland contract as Cats goalkeeper praises Luke O’Nien and Dan Ballard

Sunderland goalkeeper Anthony Patterson explains why he signed a new contract at the club last month.

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Anthony Patterson says Sunderland’s philosophy of promoting young players was a big factor behind his decision to sign a new contract at the club.

The 23-year-old goalkeeper agreed a long-term deal, which will run until the summer of 2028, last month following interest from Premier League sides.

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Wolves and Leicester, before their relegation from the top flight, are among the teams who have been credited with interest in Patterson this year. Still, the highly-rated goalkeeper has expressed his pride and ambitions playing for his boyhood club.

“It was a no-brainer for me really,” Patterson told the Echo when asked about his new deal. “You just look at how well we’re doing this season so far and it was quite stratforward. The club’s philosophy of young players and developing them, it’s a place where I want to be. It was a big factor because obviously we have some great young talent in that squad and can only get better really. I look forward to the rest of my time here.”

Ater starting every Championship fixture last season, Patterson has played in all 11 league games for Sunderland this campaign, with the centre-back pairing of Luke O’Nien and Dan Ballard operating just ahead of him.

“They are great leaders in there and are both great defensively,” said Patterson when asked about the aforementioned duo. “They are doing a great job in front of me. We’ve formed a good partnership there. All the way across the back we’ve got great leaders and there is a lot of talking, plenty of organisation of course. I think it’s just a collective team effort really of working really hard and keeping them away from our goal.”

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Patterson also feels more confident playing in Championship compared to 12 months ago, when Sunderland were a newly-promoted team and the keeper didn’t have any previous experience playing in the second tier. “I just feel more comfortable in the Championship,” he added. “I’m more confident and just everything really. I feel like I’ve developed a lot over pre-season and then brought that into this season.”