The deal is now official…
Tony Mowbray once again has Sunderland on course to compete for a place in the Championship play-offs this season after a solid start. The Black Cats sit eighth and just one point adrift of the all-important top six, having played 14 games. Those at the Stadium of Light will simply be hoping to keep their run going into what will be a busy festive period.
Meanwhile, away from the pitch, Mowbray will be looking to improve his side even further in the hope of avoiding similar promotion heartbreak to that of last season, when his side were one step away from Wembley. And while first-team reinforcements are sure to arrive in January, the club have already acted outside the window to secure a gem for the future.
Sunderland transfer news
Much of the credit for Sunderland’s start to the season deserves to go to their recruitment team, who did well to welcome the likes of Jobe Belliingham in the summer. The former Birmingham youngster has so far enjoyed his time on Wearside, featuring in every Championship game and even finding the back of the net on two occasions. When it comes to future arrivals, Sunderland will be looking to see players make a similar impact to Bellingham, and that includes Kelechi Chibueze.
As confirmed by the club, Sunderland have signed Chibueze from Leicester City until 2024, with the option to extend his deal for another season. Speaking to the club’s official website, academy manager Robin Nicholls said: “Kelechi joins our programme having had a good youth career so far. He is a former England Youth International who has been registered with two other Category 1 Academies previously.
“He displayed potential in many of the attributes that we consider important for our goalkeepers to possess, and we feel that he can add to what is already a strong group of goalkeepers within our Professional Development Phase.”
Will Chibueze play for Sunderland?
Adding Chibueze to their squad, Sunderland now have the choice of Anthony Patterson, Nathan Bishop and their recent arrival. That said, the former Leicester City man is set to join up with the academy, where he will hope to impress enough to earn a longer deal and potentially even some first-team opportunities.
From Mowbray’s perspective, as the games come thick and fast during the festive period, having a number of options at his disposal is no bad thing. And whilst he’ll have his number one in the form of Patterson, turning to Chibueze in competitions away from the Championship could result in the emergence of another solid back-up.
For now, though, it’s up to the shot-stopper to impress for the academy first. The last thing Chibueze will want is to see his time at the Stadium of Light come to an end as soon as next year. If all goes well, the recent arrival could even be a Premier League player this time next year, as the Black Cats push for promotion once more. They’ll certainly be up there, that’s for sure, especially after the start they’ve made. Now, Mowbray will simply be looking to push on.