Sunderland boss reveals plans for exciting young forward

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The Echo's chief Sunderland writer Phil Smith is providing in-depth coverage of the Portugal tour including friendlies with Rangers and Roma.

Alex Neil says Jack Diamond will get the chance to play his way into the club's first-team plans this season, and has hinted his medium-turn future will likely be dependent on Sunderland's incoming business.

Diamond has been back on Wearside since day one of pre-season, after a hugely successful loan in League Two with Harrogate Town last season.

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Harrogate have already made a move to bring Diamond back, but it was rejected by the Black Cats.

Sunderland head coach Alex Neil.Sunderland head coach Alex Neil.
Sunderland head coach Alex Neil.

Sunderland could yet add another player to their attacking midfield ranks, though a move for AFC Wimbledon's Jack Rudoni looks to have failed as Huddersfield Town close in on his signature.

Another arrival could see Diamond move on loan, perhaps to League One.

But for now he has a chance to make an impression on Neil, who said he was pleased with elements of the 22-year-old's performance in the 2-0 defeat to AS Roma on Wednesday morning.

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"I'm assessing Jack just like I'm assessing every player at the moment," Neil said.

"Obviously it will all depend on as well, what we bring in if we do bring in, in certain areas of the pitch.

"Jack will get a fair crack it.

"You could see some really good bits on Wednesday, you could see his athleticism and his pace.

"Like any young players, there's bits we need to add to his game but he's got an appetite to learn.

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"So it's one where we will just see how we go for the next wee while."

Sunderland are back in action at Dundee United on Saturday afternoon.

The Sunderland Echo's coverage of SAFC in Portugal is brought to you in association with Flex Joinery. Visit for further details.