Recent reports in national media have suggested Sunderland are considering recalling Jack Diamond, but manager Tony Mowbray has moved to stifle those suggestions.
The Mail Online suggested Mowbray was considering a recall for Diamond, who has hit eight goals for the Imps this season, as he’s lost attackers Ellis Simms to recall by Everton, and Elliot Embleton to injury. However, as Mowbray has previously hinted, he personally hasn’t thought about recalling Jack, although he hasn’t ruled out the possibility it has been discussed higher up the chain.
“I’m guided really by the coaching staff and by Kristjaan on Jack Diamond really,” he told the Sunderland Echo. “It isn’t something that we’ve spoken about and considered – it may be something that has been discussed by the technical board. As the guy on the grass working with the players we’ve got, we haven’t really [spoken about it].”
Mowbray has also seen youngster Ellis Taylor return from a loan spell at Hartlepool, and whilst he may not be troubling the first team, it does seem as if the Black Cats have enough fringe players to keep the squad on their toes.
There’s a big question as to whether Jack is ready for the step up to Championship football, and trying to look at the situation objectively, I’d be inclined to suggest it might not be the case. Eight goals in 24 outings look impressive, that’s one every three matches, but there are five penalties in that run (Derby, Bristol Rovers, Accrington, Everton and Ipswich), with the late breakaway goal against Everton Under 21s finished off without a keeper in the net. His only other goals from open play outfield came in the 6-3 win against Bristol Rovers back in October, which seems a long while ago.
There’s no doubt Jack is a threat – he asks questions of defenders and will look to get in behind, but has his loan been as impressive as the goals return suggests? Having watched another player we targetted in action this weekend, Jerusun Rak-Sakyi, I’d suggest that Jack’s loan has been good but not the huge success that some of the Sunderland observers seem to think. Rak-Sakyi caused all sorts of problems for our defence, and whilst Jacck has done so sporadically, I’m not sure he’s been as much of a threat on a constant level as six-goal Rak-Sakyi. His development would certainly be best served staying here and looking to build on his performances, hopefully impacting games on a more regular basis, before returning to Sunderland with another five months of senior football under his belt.
If Tony Mowbray’s comments are anything to go by, that’s seemingly what we can expect.