In-form NUFC youngster Alex Gilliead is a wanted man, with The Chronicle confirming today that THREE Championship clubs have shown an interest in taking him on loan in January – one of which being North-East rivals Sunderland!
The 21-year old joined Bradford City on a six-month loan deal over the summer, but has been impressing in League One and could now be handed a Championship chance to impress over the second half of the season.
Sunderland’s interest shows just where they’re at – seeing them enquire for a youngster yet to make a first-team appearance for us yet – whilst Hull City and Millwall are the other two clubs said to be interested in taking him on loan according to The Chronicle.
Scouts from all three clubs have been in watching him for Bradford in recent weeks, meaning the Bantams could face a fight on their hands to keep him at the club beyond the turn of the year.
As you’d imagine, current Bradford boss Stuart McCaall has urged him to stay put and extend his loan deal with the club in January:
“I’ve seen a lot of cases of people going up a division and then they don’t play. For me, as a young kid there’s nothing better than playing,”
“It happened a lot in Scotland where I’d work with a younger player and they’d jump to England to earn more money – and never kick a ball. For two years, they’d grow stale just doing nothing.
“I’m not saying that happens all the time but it can do. Players take a step up a level but then only play reserve football or come on as sub for two minutes.
“I know Gilly’s enjoying it here. It’s not a lack of ambition if you’re playing regular football, relishing it as he is and keep improving.”
“He knew if he came back he’d get his chance and he’s done that. He’s played in the majority of games and is learning all the time,”
“Gilly is adding different bits to his game and we’re working with him in the training, not just to be an out-and-out winger but to go looking for the ball, get in the box and try to be a threat.
“Some games we want Gilly to just be an out-and-out wideman because we’ll think the width of the pitch is important against a weak full back.
“Other times, we don’t want him isolated out there and want him to go join in down the middle – and he’s doing that.”
The Chronicle state that deals between Sunderland and Newcastle are normally ‘complicated’, but suggest that their struggling position in the second tier could see a deal get done.
One to watch perhaps. Quite an predicament awaits if this one goes through..