Sunderland boss Lee Johnson explains why he wanted to sign Manchester City ace Callum Doyle
Lee Johnson has said that he is ‘quietly confident’ that Callum Doyle can have a big impact at Sunderland.
The 17-year-old has joined the Black Cats on a one-year loan deal, becoming the third summer signing after Alex Pritchard and Corry Evans.
Doyle has made a significant impression across both the U18 and U23 sides at City last season.
He featured twice in the Papa John’s Trophy group stages, but the move to Wearside represents his first significant steps in senior football and he is yet to make a league appearance.
Johnson says it will therefore take time for some aspects of Doyle’s game to develop, but believes he can have a big impact at the club and outlined some of the key attributes he can bring to the squad.
He said: “We are grateful to Manchester City for believing in us as a club to be able to help develop somebody like Callum.
“He is a very talented player, but obviously is still very young, so the expectation of him in terms of the first team is that we are quietly confident that he can have a big impact as time goes on.
“At 6’3”, he is very good technically, can carry the ball and has a lovely left foot, but of course man-on-man combat is where has to break through and be comfortable with.
"Overall, we are delighted to put him amongst out squad and believe that he can be a real positive for us.”
Doyle is understood to have trained with the Black Cats during their training camp in Scotland this week, and could therefore be in contention to feature against Hearts at Tynecastle on Saturday afternoon.
His arrival gives Johnson some welcome strength in depth at the back, having worked with a threadbare group in the early stages of pre-season.
Bailey Wright and Tom Flanagan both featured at Spennymoor Town, but with Denver Hume still weighing up his future, full-back options are sparse.
Ollie Younger is back training with the senior group after testing positive for COVID-19, while Arbenit Xhemajli is also making steady progress in his recovery from a serious knee injury last year.