Sunderland have received another huge blow today, as potential transfer target Wouter Verstraaten has snubbed a move to the Stadium of Light in favour of remaining at non-league side South Shields.
The Sunderland Echo reported that the 23-year-old joined the Black Cats on trial after coming through the PSV Eindhoven youth ranks. He’s also been on the books of MLS side Portland Timbers, before linking up with South Shields. It seems that trial went well, well enough for the defender to be offered a deal by Sunderland.
Sadly, for them at least, he’s turned it down, believing that staying put is better for his career. He impressed playing for the Under 23s and was offered a deal, only to sign a fresh contract with the side top of the Northern Premier League. The Mariners are enjoying their best-ever spell and aspire to join the National League, which it appears is something Verstraaten appears to be a big part of.
“I am very happy to have signed this deal, as it took a while before we finally got it done,” he said. “I am very pleased that South Shields have shown their confidence in me during these unprecedented times.”
The talented players moved to England last year to study for a Masters in finance at Durham University and appeared 14 times for the ambitious Mariners. Sunderland fans have not taken the news well. Coupled with the recent uncertainty, they’ve lashed out at owner Stewart Donald who seems almost certain to preside over yet another season of League One football.
Dont blame him .. the club's like a race horse ridden by a blind man
— Shane Pickering (@ShanePickering1) May 19, 2020
Omg… Just how low can we sink… I think Donald's dream is to play his National team on equal terms… ????
— Ian Graham (@IanGrah66857798) May 18, 2020
It’s so he can play and finish his studies? Quite clearly states that in the article
— Lee Cuthbertson (@BlackcatsLee25) May 18, 2020
@Neil_Mccreadie remember when they were saying they were the biggest team in the North East? Hahahaha
— CrmsN! (@TheRealCrmsN) May 18, 2020
Doin a cracking job Donald. Just sell the other half decent players and get in some Sunday league players and we’ll get that 100 point season soon pic.twitter.com/deDW9978pX
— Safc_Ha’WAY THE LADS (@Safc_HAWAY) May 19, 2020
Just when you think it can’t get any worse ???
— Lee Pattison (@Patters1970) May 18, 2020
Pity damning that the lad would rather play for south bloody shields than Sunderland. Bloody hell
— Dom (@dom_33) May 19, 2020