Sunderland news: Lee Johnson delivers frank admission about in-demand Black Cats man

Sunderland boss Lee Johnson delivers frank admission about 28-year-old's future

After witnessing his side suffer defeat in the League One play-offs earlier this year, Sunderland manager Lee Johnson decided to launch a complete overhaul of his squad.

A host of players have since departed the Stadium of Light whilst the Black Cats have been relatively busy in terms of recruiting replacements in recent weeks.

After sealing deals for Jacob Carney, Alex Pritchard and Corry Evans, Johnson signed Manchester City prospect Callum Doyle on a season-long loan deal last week.

Doyle has since gone on to feature on two occasions for the Black Cats in their pre-season match-ups with Hearts and York City.

Whereas a lot of the club's players were able to make considerable strides in terms of their match fitness by playing in these games, Bailey Wright was forced to watch on from the sidelines after suffering a minor groin injury in training.

A report from The Sun journalist Alan Nixon on Monday suggested that Wigan Athletic were interested in signing the Sunderland defender this summer.

Wright made 35 appearances for Sunderland in League One last year as the club narrowly missed out on sealing a return to the Championship.

Making reference to the defender's future, Johnson has insisted that he still believes that there is more to come from Wright at the Stadium of Light.

Speaking to The Shields Gazette about the 28-year-old, the Sunderland boss said: "He's got a year left on his contract.

"We've been very open and honest with Bailey all the way through.

"I don't think the new ownership have seen the best of Bailey Wright, in terms of, he's got to do better than the last ten games of the season.

"At the same time, he can, and he was a real warrior in that time because he'd been out for nine or ten weeks and then came in and had about ten games on the spin.

"We also know what he brings off the pitch more than anyone, he's a fantastic human being and a great leader for us.

"Performances have been steady but I know there's more to come."

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When you consider that Sunderland are no longer able to call upon the services of Dion Sanderson, it would be somewhat of a shock if they opt to sell Wright this summer as it would leave them relatively short on options at centre-back.

Furthermore, it could be argued that the Black Cats may not be able to draft in a sufficient replacement for the defender who possesses a great deal of experience at this level.

Having made 159 appearances in the third-tier during his career, Wright knows exactly what it takes to thrive in this division and thus could prove to be a real asset for Johnson's side later this year.

By replicating the displays which saw him earn the fourth-highest average WhoScored match rating (6.94) for Sunderland last season during the upcoming campaign, the Australian may be able to help the club launch a push for a top-two finish in League One.

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