Sunderland have handed 18-year-old Michael Collins a trial after the youngster failed to break through at Everton.
The young defender joined the Toffees as a 14-year-old and had progressed through the ranks at Goodison, but his time there is coming to an end and he’s now looking to make an impression at the Stadium of Light.
The Sunderland Echo have reported he’s on trial with the club, coming off the back of an Under 18 call up by the Republic of Ireland. He’s also eligible to play for Jamaica and England, but neither have given him further recognition as yet.
He’s played for the Black Cats’ Under 18 side this week, appearing at left back as they faced Manchester City. They lost the fixture 2-1, with Collins getting himself an assist in the process.
He’s aiming for a place at the Academy of Light, the Sunderland facility which has produced a number of players in recent years. Joel Asoro and Josh Maja, now of Swansea and Bordeaux, are both graduates, as are George Honeyman and Lynden Gooch.
There’s a clear pathway to the Sunderland first team for players with the right credentials and Collins will now be hoping he’s done enough to catch the eye in the red and white of the Black Cats.
It’s hard for these young players, coming out of an academy where everything is provided for them, only to find an uncertain future.
If he can bag himself a spot with Sunderland he’d be in good hands. Their backroom set up is still very much Premier League and it would allow him to continue his development in an environment that is similar to his previous employer.