THE SECRET SCOUT: Dion Sanderson has been crucial in Sunderland's run

THE SECRET SCOUT: Sunderland’s young defender Dion Sanderson has been crucial in their run of success, is strong in the air and will only improve

  • Defender Dion Sanderson caught the eye for Sunderland and will only improve
  • The 21-year-old uses his physique to good advantage and IS strong in the air
  • Sanderson gives away unnecessary free-kicks but may be a Sunderland regular

Our scout is a top football expert who attends matches each week searching for the next star.

This week, Sunderland’s young defender Dion Sanderson is under the spotlight…


This tall Midlander on loan in the North East has been an important figure in Sunderland’s run of success.

He is a defender who starts on the right-hand side of two centre backs in a back four.

Sunderland starlet Dion Sanderson is an impressive, strong defender and will only get better


AGE: 21 



VALUE: £1.5m

Using his physique to good advantage, he proved to be strong in the air in a game I watched as he defended his penalty area. 

Right-footed, he covered the area between his right back, reading situations quickly and moving into the space when his team-mate was tackled.

He was not tested for pace by his opposing number, who was tall and strong but immobile. 

When Sunderland’s keeper fielded a low shot, he showed awareness by rushing to protect him from an incoming forward. 

Then, after a dribbling run left him stranded, he recovered brilliantly by maximising his strength. 

When he played the ball to his full back, he immediately dropped deeper to make himself available in case his team-mate could not find a forward pass.


On a couple of occasions his timing was amiss as he climbed over his striker and gave away unnecessary free-kicks.

But this centre back is very athletic and will improve his positioning with experience. He played 90 minutes here without ever being exposed. He ventured into the opponents’ box for a couple of free-kicks and was difficult to deal with.

Only 21, if he does not re-join Wolves I can see him staying as a regular for Sunderland. He will only get better.

Sanderson (centre) may stay at Sunderland as a regular and his athleticism caught the eye

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