May 26, 2024

Sunderland: Tommy Watson, Hemir & Pembele score for Under-21s

TOMMY Watson continued his push for Sunderland first team involvement with a goal for the Under-21s in a 4-2 win at Huddersfield on Wednesday.

First team duo Luis Hemir Semedo and Timothee Pembele were also among the goals in the Central League fixture, with midfielder Ben Middlemas wrapping up the scoring as Graeme Murty’s side fought back from behind to beat the Terriers.

Chelsea loanee Mason Burstow started up front alongside Hemir, while Aji Alese continued his comeback with a run-out.

Do Sunderland have a Jack Clarke regen in Tommy Watson? - BBC Sport

Mike Dodds revealed after Monday’s defeat to Blackburn that Sunderland had decided Alese would benefit more from an outing for the Under-21s than sitting on the bench against Rovers. The defender is in contention to return to the squad for Saturday’s visit of Bristol City.

And youngster Watson is pushing for first team action of his own before the season is out.

The 18-year-old dazzled in the youth ranks last term and was handed a Championship debut under Tony Mowbray.

Do Sunderland have a Jack Clarke regen in Tommy Watson? - BBC Sport

But he’s endured his fair share of injury frustration this season. After returning from a two-month lay-off, Watson impressed for the Under-21s against Newcastle and Leicester and scored a double against Lincoln last week before getting on the scoresheet again against Huddersfield.

Dodds revealed last week that he planned to “integrate Watson into the first team group” in the final weeks of the season.

He said: “Tommy trained with us a couple of times over the international break and has done really, really well.

Do Sunderland have a Jack Clarke regen in Tommy Watson? - BBC Sport

“I’ve had a conversation with him personally about where he fits, the things I think he does really well and the things I think he can improve on.

“He has real clarity on that. He’s definitely one I’m sure will come into our thinking at some point.”

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