Struggling to get out of the bottom three in the Championship points table, Sunderland are facing a nightmare of a season but they have enough time to save the sinking ship. They only dropped to the second tier last season and falling to the League One this season will be disastrous.
So it does not come as a surprise that Chris Coleman is busy in the January transfer market, trying to add players who can get them out of the drop zone. One player, they are close to landing is Liverpool star Ovie Ejaria.
Liverpool have a strict loan-deal policy that needs clubs to offer their players enough game time so what will Ejaria bring to Sunderland and should the Black Cats give in to the demands? Here is a mini-scout report of the highly rated midfielder from Merseyside.
Born and brought up in Southwark, Ejaria spent nine years at the Arsenal youth academy, before he joined Liverpool in 2014. He spent just two years at the academy before making his first senior appearance for the side, back in 2016. He made two league starts and six domestic cup starts last season under Jurgen Klopp, putting in some impressive performances.
However, the requirements in the top flight have seen Ejaria struggle to get anywhere near the first team squad this season.
Style Of Play, Strengths & Weaknesses:
A central-midfielder who loves to run the tempo of the game in the pockets of space in the final third, Ejaria is a gifted footballer with great technique and enviable touch. His positioning sense and ability to turn away from danger, along with vision and ability to pick dangerous passes, has made him an important player for Liverpool’s junior squads.
He is quick across the turf, can dribble past opponents but never shies away from his defensive duties. He may not be strong in the air or in hold up play but at just 20, he is certainly a star in the making and Jurgen Klopp is certainly convinced of his abilities, which he showed in the previous season.
He has to find some composure in front of goal, which seems to be improving, as seen when he scored a magical winner in the recent 1-0 victory over Derby County for the Liverpool U23s. There is a lot of room for improvement but Ejaria is certainly one of the most exciting youngsters currently at the Liverpool academy:
Chances At Stadium Of Light:
As already mentioned, Liverpool need assurances of playing time to send their players on loan under Jurgen Klopp and Sunderland will have to play Ejaria regularly, if they are land him today.
The likes of Lee Cattermole and Didier NDong have not been at their best this season and the latter is set to leave. But the likes of Darron Gibson, George Honeyman and Lyden Gooch, who have all filled in at times in the midfield, have not done enough to warrant a regular place in the side and Ejaria could add some spark to this situation. He has 7 appearances for the English U20s already but has never played a senior game for any club other than Liverpool. So it certainly is a gamble but if Coleman is convinced, Ejaria is certainly a player Sunderland fans should be excited about.
Stats Courtesy: Whoscored