Little is known about Sunderland new boy Joe Anderson.
Signed for an undisclosed fee on deadline day, the youngster arrives from Everton eager to be given a chance in the professional ranks. Defensive reinforcements are welcome on Wearside as Bailey Wright could leave before the 11pm deadline.
Tony Mowbray appeared ecstatic to bolster his backline with a Premier League youngster. He said after the deal was announced: “Joe fits the profile of player we want to keep adding to the club and we look forward to supporting his development in a senior environment.
READ MORE: Sunderland confirm deadline day signing of Joe Anderson from Everton
“The talent and potential are there and although he may need time to develop physically in the next weeks and months, he will add immediate competition and depth to our squad. A left-footed, left-sided central defender, which is a rarity, he can distribute the ball well from the back and connect defence with the midfield. He is going to be a real long-term asset for the club.”
While there is plenty of excitement about his arrival, few have seen the 21-year-old play. Anderson remains an enigma due to his lack of game time at Goodison Park. ChronicleLive has profiled the new Black Cat to provide you with a better understanding of his talents.
Born in Stalybridge, Greater Manchester, Anderson was actually picked up by Liverpool before donning the Everton blue. He arrived at the Toffees as a 15-year-old and, owing to his height at the time, played as a left midfielder or left-back.
Anderson helped Everton reach the quarter-final of the FA Youth Cup in 2018-19. Speaking two years ago, the defender hailed his former club for helping him develop as a player.
“My game has improved a lot since I joined Everton,” he told the club website. “At every level, you are challenged, there is healthy competition for places and it improves you because every player is giving it everything.
“On the ball, I know I can play. I’ve worked hard on getting better defensively. “Unsy (David Unsworth, former under-23 boss) has helped me a lot in training on areas like my positional play and dealing with crosses.”
However, he is yet to make a senior appearance in professional football. Anderson has represented an Everton under-21 side in the EFL Trophy but will be introduced to the men’s ranks officially at Sunderland.
Where he will fit in
As Mowbray mentioned, Anderson is capable of playing on the left of a three-man defence, or at left-back. Sunderland have tinkered with various formations this season, with Dennis Cirkin or Aji Alese occupying that role.
Luke O’Nien, too, has also been deployed on the left of a back three, but Anderson is a more natural option. Wright’s possible exit would make first-team opportunities far easier to come by than they were on Merseyside.
Technical footballers are thriving in the Championship. Long gone are the days when physicality was the key attribute in the second tier. Vincent Kompany has transformed an outdated Burnley team into a possession-based side who are romping to a convincing league title.
Anderson is cut from a similar cloth, owing to his Premier League education. Sunderland will provide the platform for him to put those skills to the test.
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