Sunderland transfer news: Plymouth boss explains how Jay Matete's loan move unfolded

Plymouth boss Steven Schumacher had been monitoring Jay Matete’s Sunderland situation for some time after learning the midfielder could be available in January.

Matete’s loan move to Argyle was announced on Friday evening, less than 24 hours before their League One match at Bolton.

The 21-year-old was introduced as a second-half substitute in the goalless draw, with Schumacher’s side still sitting top of the table after 26 matches.

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"We always track people on performance data,” said Schumacher when discussing Matete’s arrival after the match. "Jay hasn't played loads of football this year for Sunderland. It was one that he went there last January and you keep monitoring, and you wonder how he does.

Jay Matete training with Sunderland. Picture by Frank Reid

"He went for a big real big fee and he went as a huge prospect. In the games I have watched him play for Sunderland he has done well.

"We were made aware that he might be available for a loan move early on in the week so I picked up the phone to his agent, who I know, straight away.

"I then picked up the phone to Jay and sorted a Zoom call out. I spoke to him about why we think he would be perfect for our team, what he would bring and convinced him to come here.

"He obviously had other options but wanted to part of our plan going forward, so I was made up that he came. It took a few days to get over the line, backwards and forwards with Sunderland, but he managed to meet us in the hotel last night.

"I thought he did very well for us when he came on, with people who he doesn't know. He's a good player."

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And after joining up with the Plymouth squad on Friday, Matete was exempt from singing an initiation song in front of his new team-mates.

“We gave him an exemption from singing a song in front of the group because it would have been unfair to chuck him straight in!” Schumacher added.

"He will settle into the group quick. The lads are sound, they are a good group of lads and they will make him feel welcome. They know, and we know, he will add some quality and more depth to our squad."