Sunderland news

Bruce keeps faith in youth

June 24, 2011

Steve Bruce has promised his summer transfer blitz will not prevent the club's youngsters from getting their chance.

Steve Bruce
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Bruce has already landed Bosman free signings Keiren Westwood and Sebastian Larsson, who will formally complete moves to the Stadium of Light on July 1, while a deal has been agreed for South Korea international striker Ji Dong-Won.

The Black Cats are also planning to make several more - and, in some cases, higher profile - signings before the new Premier League season as they await answers from Manchester United trio Darron Gibson, Wes Brown and John O'Shea and continue to pursue their interests in the likes of Connor Wickham, Craig Gardner and Charles N'Zogbia.

Bruce's recruitment drive could yet extend to double figures as he attempts to replace big-money departures Darren Bent and Jordan Henderson, as well as strengthen the squad which finished in tenth place at the end of the last injury-hit campaign.

However, the manager insists the club's home-grown talent will still be given the opportunity to force their way into the long-term picture, just as Henderson and Jack Colback have done in recent seasons.

Bruce told the Sunderland Echo: "I have got a few young lads bubbling underneath who have impressed me and who have got a chance.

"A lot of them can expect to be going out on loan next season because I haven't wavered from that view - that you send your young lads out on loan and see how they stand up to it.

"It didn't do Jordan or Jack any harm, and it's another part of young players' education in the modern game. Then, when they come back from their loans, you hope that they have come on another step.

"I hope that will prove to be the case with the current crop of lads, because I think there are some exciting young players and we acknowledged that by regularly including a few in our first-team squad towards the end of the [last] season.

"I don't think anyone doubts we have now got a busy summer ahead of us in the transfer market, but it won't be at the expense of players coming through. If the young lads prove they are good enough, they will get their chance - just like Jordan and Jack did."

Injuries to senior players last season meant young players such as Ryan Noble, Jordan Cook, Craig Lynch, Billy Knott and Louis Laing were given a taste of first-team involvement.