Academy: Trio put pen to paper

Sunderland AFC are delighted to confirm three new faces will be joining the club's development team.

Three-time FA Youth Cup winner Ruben Sammut, stopper Ahmed Abdelkader and former Everton youngster Michael Collins have penned one-year deals.

Sammut, a central midfielder, enjoyed a successful trial on Wearside at the back end of last season after previously winning UEFA Youth League with Chelsea.

Abdelkader joins after a spell in Cyprus with ENAD FC Popis Chrysochous, meanwhile, Collins links up with the Black Cats after being at Goodison Park since he was 14.

Speaking about the new arrivals, under-23 boss Elliott Dickman said: “We are delighted to welcome some new additions to our development side this summer.

“We had Ahmed on trial last season from France and he really impressed us so he will provide some stern competition to Anthony (Patterson) and push each other to develop better.

“Michael is a left footed centre-back and he played with us last season for the under-23 and under-18 teams.

“We have brought him in from Everton and are hoping he can continue to grow as a player next season.”

He continued: “Ruben was here last season on trial and played a couple of games. We were really impressed with him and we are delighted to see that he has chosen to come to Sunderland.

“We have brought him in from Chelsea. He is a lovely lad and like the rest of our group, he is very thorough and professional.”

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