Kevin Phillips has urged Sunderland star Dion Sanderson to ignore interest from Newcastle United – saying the switch from Wearside to Tyneside “would not be worth the hassle.”
A few days on from being linked with a summer switch to St James’ Park, The Chronicle have confirmed that we have indeed had scouts taking a close look at the 21-year-old centre-back currently on loan from Wolves.
That said, Phillips believes he would be making a mistake joining Sunderland’s North-East rivals, claiming he would be a “very brave lad” to swap red and white for black and white – a bizarre take given so many have done likewise in recent times!
Here’s what the former Black Cats striker’s had to say about reports linking Sanderson with a move to Newcastle:
“Sanderson would be a very brave lad if he was to step across and play for Newcastle after playing for Sunderland,”
“My advice to him would be, ‘Don’t do it!’ It would not be worth the hassle.
“He has proven this season that he is going to get better and better. It will not be just Newcastle sniffing around him, I am sure there will be a few other clubs as well.
“It is going to be difficult for Sunderland to sign him permanently this summer but I would be very surprised if he went to Newcastle, put it that way.”
I’m sure Phillips would rather not see one of Sunderland’s best players join Newcastle, but his claims that it “wouldn’t be worth the hassle” are odd given so many have done the same in recent years with very little grief.
Take Danny Simpson, Daryl Murphy, Ki-Sung Yeung, Javier Manquillo or DeAndre Yedlin for example, just a handful of players who’ve crossed the divide after spells at the Stadium of Light.
Each one was given a clean slate as soon as they pulled on the black and white shirt and were rated based on their ability and application on the pitch – not the fact they’d once worn a Sunderland shirt!
If our interest in Sanderson is firmed up this summer and an offer arrives, I’m sure he’d happily take the leap!