Are City Close To 22-Year-Old Championship Attacker?

It’s being widely reported that the Imps could be closing in on the capture of Sunderland winger Jack Diamond.

There was a mention on Radio Lincolnshire that one of the Imps’ targets had been on the bench for his parent club this weekend, which Diamond was, and that hints at him being the player we’ve been tailing. His name has been mentioned a bit this summer, and he’s been a target for a handful of clubs, but it could be the Imps finally getting the man who was so instrumental in the Black Cats’ only league win at Sincil Bank in 60 years. On that day, he won them a penalty and scored in the 4-0 rout, and I felt he was destined to be a first-team player for them.

I’d been led to believe the move could be in jeopardy after the manager change at Sunderland, but as you know, I only report on something when it’s out there in the public domain, so I kept tight-lipped. However, now reports seem to be trickling in that we’re close to getting our man, I think it’s worth a mention.

Diamond is a product of the excellent Sunderland youth academy, and when I was writing for Football League World, he was a name that kept getting mentioned as a star of the future. The Gateshead-born 22-year-old joined their academy at 14, making his senior debut in the maligned but useful EFL Trophy. He earned a loan move to the National League with Harrogate Town, where he bagged five goals in 32 outings, including their third in the 3-1 play-off final win against Notts County.

Diamond (21) looks on in our 4- defeat – Credit Graham Burrell

In 2020/21, he was handed a first-team berth at Sunderland, but his standout performance was in that 4- win at the Bank. He appeared in both of the semi-final matches, for a fleeting moment in the 2-0 win at Sincil Bank, and as a 65th-minute sub as we lost there but went through anyway. His outings had not convinced Lee Johnson to keep him in the first team picture, and he was sent out to Harrogate on loan once more last season. His loan spell in League Two spanned two stints, before and after Christmas, but he was excellent, scoring 14 times in 45 outings. Oddly, he did play briefly on his return to Sunderland, starting as we won 3-1 there in the Chris Maguire show. He was withdrawn in the 65th minute of that game.

Diamond predominately operates on the left wing but can also play on the right and through the middle. He has appeared twice for the Black Cats this season, playing the whole game as they went out of the League Cup against Sheffield Wednesday and getting 12 minutes on the right wing as they lost 2-1 to Sheffield United. There’s no doubt he has the pace and direct running that I said we’re screaming out for on the flanks, and perhaps with him and Garrick, we might begin to look like a proper threat on the counter.

It does remain to be seen if the reports are accurate, but hopefully, they are, as Jack Diamond is exactly the profile of player we need in one key position.