Shrewsbury Town Secure Championship Defender

Sunderland defender Joe Anderson has today joined Shrewsbury Town on loan for the 2023-24 season, as confirmed by Sunderland’s official website. 

The former Liverpool and Everton youth player joined Tony Mowbray’s men in January from The Toffees and would make four Championship appearances as The Black Cats secured a playoff berth. 

Alongside the four appearances made in the Sunderland first team, Anderson has featured in seven EFL Trophy matches for Everton Under 23s but the rest of his football has been in the Under 18s or Premier League 2. The Stalybridge-born defender has played a full part in the pre-season campaign so far but his club has decided he needs to gain experience to aid his long-term development. 

What’s Been Said?

Sunderland’s Sporting Director Kristjaan Speakman discussed the importance of the move for Anderson’s development, “Joe has settled within the first-team squad since his arrival in January and now is the right time for us to seek an opportunity for him to play regularly. This move will allow him to continue his development in a competitive senior environment and we hope that step allows him to return at some point and challenge for a place in our team.”

The player spoke to Shrewsbury’s website to discuss his signing and sounded confident about what he could bring to Salop this season. “I’m absolutely delighted to join the club! I know a few of the lads already who have joined recently and everyone speaks highly of the club.”

He continued, “I want to get clean sheets. I’m composed on the ball and I like to start attacks. I see myself almost in that role between the defence and midfield where I can step in, I can start attacks and I can be someone who can settle the game down and control the pace of the game.”

Newly installed manager Matt Taylor was delighted to have secured this deal, saying, “Joe is a left-sided centre-back who possesses a beautiful left foot.”

“He is a young player with a really bright future ahead of him so I feel very fortunate to have secured him for the season. As a coaching staff we are very excited to work with him, he adds excellent competition to the squad and gives us the natural balance we want on the left-hand side.”

Writer’s View

This is an important loan switch for Anderson and an opportunity he needs to grasp with both hands. Having only played four senior games, aside from the EFL Trophy, by the age of 22, maximising game time this season is vital for his development and to give him a better chance of breaking through at the Stadium of Light. 

Having lost defensive-minded players such as Luke Leahy and Matthew Pennington, Taylor has responded by bolstering his options with the arrivals of Morgan Feeney, Jason Sraha, Tunmise Sobowale and two young defenders in Michael Parker and now Anderson. Being a left-footer, the Sunderland loanee will look to bring balance to Shrewsbury’s defensive shape.

Throwing Anderson into League One football given his lack of experience could be risky and the manager’s comments about adding competition to the squad suggest he will find himself acting as cover, certainly in the initial part of his loan. 

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