With just one Premier League win in their last 11 games, and a slide down the table towards the relegation zone looking ominous, it’s fair to say Sunderland need a spark from somewhere.
And in 21-year-old Duncan Watmore, Gus Poyet may have just the man to breathe some life into his Black Cats side.
The winger has yet to make his top flight debut for the Stadium of Light outfit, his career on Wearside blighted by injury since a switch from non-league Altrincham in 2013.
But the Sunderland boss could already see the youngster donning on the red and white in the Premier League reasonably soon.
“He’s only had a couple of games of 20, 30 minutes in his recovery,” he told the Chronicle.
“But it (his Premier League debut) will come. Sooner or later, he’s going to get his chance”, the Uruguayan continued.
Sooner could well be necessary with a crunch tie against Aston Villa in the offing, one of four ties in their next six that will be on their own turf.
Picking up points in these types of matches will be imperative if Sunderland are to avoid a late drop into the bottom three.
Watmore has been a leading light for the club’s under 21 side this season, going on a run of four goals in four games, before a broken leg left him on the sidelines for two months.
A jump up from the club’s development team could mirror the career of James McClean, who having arrived at the club for a small fee from Derry City thrived in the junior ranks.
Upon being given the chance by Martin O’Neill, McClean grasp the opportunity with both hands, scoring two goals in his first three matches for the senior side.
The Irishman then went on to deliver some impressive performances for the Black Cats prior to his move to Wigan.
Gus Poyet will be hopeful that any faith he shows in Duncan Watmore can reap similar rewards in the coming weeks.
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