Lee Johnson considering loan options for Sunderland goalkeeper
Sunderland will consider loaning Anthony Patterson to a National League club before January – even though Lee Johnson believes the young goalkeeper can challenge for a starting place on Wearside.
Patterson, 21, has started the Black Cats’ last two league games ahead of Lee Burge after the latter picked up an elbow injury.
Sunderland have since signed German goalkeeper Thorben Hoffmann on loan, with the 22-year-old expected to be the club’s first-choice stopper this term.
When asked if he sees Patterson as back-up for Hoffmann and Burge, Johnson replied: ”No, I don’t. I think that all players will get their opportunity at various points of the season, that’s for sure.
“I think Patto is a really bright young goalkeeper, I love him to bits in terms of how he makes outstanding saves. His reflexes and agility is top draw.
“I think he is probably behind the other two just in terms of his football development in terms of exposure of game time. With all our young players I really want to try to get them 25 starts.
“The minute they go beyond the 23s which you see now with Dan Neil, Patterson, Elliot Embleton, these guys are now well beyond that in terms of what they can bring. If you put them back in that it can be a bit regressive with their development.”
Patterson could still be loaned out to a National League club outside the transfer window, which would mean Sunderland have an option to recall him after 28 days.
“With Patto, as with all our young players, we just want to try and get him those 25 games,” Johnson added.
“If that’s at Sunderland great, if it’s not at Sunderland we’ve got the option to loan him out to the conference because it protects us as we have the recall after 28 days.
“If we do that before January then we can make another decision in January based on what is right for Patto and the club.”
Johnson added: “We do see Patto as somebody who can genuinely contend for us in any division moving forward but he’s only had two or three league games.
“I think he’s going to need 40-50 before we’ve truly seen everything of Patto at whatever level.”