Carlisle United Secure Fifth January Signing

Carlisle United have announced via club media the signing of Jack Diamond from Sunderland on loan until the end of the season.

With the Blues currently sat in 23rd in League One, a whole ten points from safety, improvements in the January transfer window have been very much needed.

Manager Paul Simpson has turned to Sunderland forward Jack Diamond to add further depth to the attack. Given he already has 58 appearances in League One to his name, he’ll bring the Blues proven experience in the third tier, something they don’t have a whole lot of currently.

The forward has turned out for Sunderland, Lincoln City and Harrogate Town during his time in the EFL and his performances on loan with the two latter teams are very impressive. In total, the 24-year-old has 15 goal contributions in 58 appearances in the third tier as well as a further 19 in just 39 appearances in League Two.

His creativity will no doubt help Carlisle in their bid for survival, though they do seem to need somewhat of a miracle to stay up this season.

Despite all of his impressive numbers, Diamond has not been seen on the pitch for over a year having been accused of rape and sexual assault, which have since been cleared after being found not guilty. There are therefore obvious questions to be asked about his match fitness and it is unknown what part he will play in Simpson’s side in the coming weeks.

That being said, Diamond has obvious quality and is a player that manager Simpson is a huge fan of.

Speaking on his fifth signing of the window, Simpson seemed delighted with the signing.

“I’m delighted to get a player of Jack’s ability into the building. He’s a player who we hope will come in, create and score goals for us and bring some exciting forward play to the group.

“Jack has had a long period without playing games but his fitness levels are excellent. It will take him a few games to get up to match pace but I’m excited to see him be part of our team.”

Chief Executive Nigel Clibbens spoke about the club’s position on the player’s recent acquittal.

“It is a matter of public record and widespread media reporting that Jack has recently faced prosecution and charges at a Crown Court trial, with all the headlines and intense public scrutiny that brings. That has overshadowed the last two years of his personal life and career.

“Following the conclusion of that judicial process in early January 2024, a jury at Newcastle Crown Court found him not guilty of all the charges after an extremely short deliberation.

“This is now an opportunity for Jack to move forward in his life after an extremely challenging period. He can now return to football again, and do what he does best. We want to emphasise our ongoing support to him now and in the season ahead, as he looks forward to the future with Carlisle United.

We recognise the judicial process has been followed. Having been subject to the law of the land, tried in front of a jury and acquitted, he is now able to move on.

Writer’s View

Diamond has the potential to be a great player for Carlisle but it all depends on how he handles the return to the pitch. Having been off the pitch for 18 months, it may take the Sunderland man a while to get back up to speed.

His loan with Lincoln City last time in League One was rather incredible and Blues fans will be hoping that they get the same productivity out of the forward as the Imps did. If able to get back to his best, then he may just be able to help Carlisle to defy the odds and survive in the third tier this season.

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