Sunderland AFC manager David Moyes, has ruled out a January loan move for young midfielder Ethan Robson.
The 20-year-old midfielder is one of a handful of bright prospects at the Academy of Light, and has been earmarked for a temporary move away from Wearside to gain some crucial first-team experience.
The likes of Ipswich Town, Barnsley, Shrewsbury Town and Port Vale have all enquired about Robson, but Moyes has ruled out any loan exits in this window due to the number of injuries at the Stadium of Light and the absence of Lamine Kone, Didier Ndong and Wahbi Khazri at the African Cup of Nations.
Robson and the likes of George Honeyman, Joel Asoro, Josh Maja, Tom Beadling and Tommy Robson will compete for the under-23's for the rest of the season, and coach Andy Welsh recently praised he midfielder's efforts.
“Ethan showed maturity in his performance at times,” Welsh told safc.com. “There is always an opportunity when players are out to stake a claim."
"I thought they took their chance," he stated. "They showed a great desire and discipline to their game."
Welsh concluded: "That's something we need to take forward with us now.”
Back to where I was
One of those talented Black Cats also includes Rees Greenwood, who has been on a road to recovery in recent weeks.
Greenwood has been out since November with injury, but made his return to Welsh's side last Thursday in the 2-2 draw at Derby County.
The 20-year-old has stated his happiness to return to action, and is fully focused on another clash with the Rams.
“I have worked hard to get back where I was,” he said. “I have got back quicker than I expected."
"So it was a surprise and a bonus to play the full match," he stated. “I wasn’t expecting but it was great to get that under my belt."
"All I can do now is recover," the youngster stressed. "And focus ahead of our next match against Derby on Wednesday."
“My legs are a bit sore," Greenwood concluded. "But I’ve got to listen to Scott (Ainsley) and recover well.”
Sunderland AFC will take on Burnley in their third-round FA Cup replay at Turf Moor on Tuesday, January 17 with kick-off at 7:45pm GMT.