Sunderland manager Jack Ross has suggested that Ethan Robson get involved in a new deal if he impresses during his temporary work in Grimsby Town.
The 22-year-old, who joined the Mariners on the cut-off date of the transfer earlier this month, is currently in the final year of his contract with the Black Cats.
Since his debut for Sunderland in 2017, Robson has failed to establish himself as a key player in the stadium of light.
After only three appearances in the first half of the 2018/19 season, the midfielder was loaned to Dundee in January.
While he was able to perform a number of promising performances in the Scottish Premier League for the Dark Blues, he could not prevent the relegation of the club in May.
Now in Grimsby, Robson will try to help Michael Jolley succeed in the second division in the coming months before returning to the Black Cats next year.
Speaking to ChronicleLive about the graduates of the Sunderland Academy, Ross said, "Ethan has to prove that he can be physically strong enough.
Last season he had a number of games on loan in Dundee, but had injured in the preseason. Therefore, it was difficult for him to get into the team because others are ahead of him.
"I had a conversation with him and said that because of his contractual situation it was far better for him to be on loan, play every week and play well, than wait for the opportunity to open up here.
"We'll reconsider that in January, but I talked to him about it.
"I think he was of the same opinion.
"I think he has good qualities and I think he is a player who could be successful here, but he is 23 and he has to play."
Considering that Sunderland currently has midwives like George Dobson, Grant Leadbitter, Max Power and Luke O'Nien, Robson must prove why he deserves to be part of the club's plans for the future.
The former Dundee lender, who has played for Grimsby three times since joining Blundell Park, is aiming to become an important player for Jolley.
If he can produce the goods evenly in the fourth league, he can fight for a starring role at Sunderland when he returns to the club in January.
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