Sunderland Make Important Loan Player Decision

Sunderland have opted to recall midfielder Jay Matete from his League One loan spell after only playing six matches.

The 23-year-old was loaned out to Oxford United on deadline day of the winter transfer window and played a total of 253 minutes of action for Des Buckingham’s side.

His last match for United was in a 2-1 defeat at the Kassam Stadium against Leyton Orient, where he picked up a knock and was substituted with fifteen minutes to go.

After being an unused sub for the following set of matches, Matete dropped out of the squad entirely as he aggravated the injury further.

In a statement released today, Oxford announced that the midfielder had been recalled by The Black Cats, adding: “Matete underwent minor knee surgery last week and will now complete his rehabilitation at the Academy of Light.

“We thank Jay for his hard work and effort and wish him well with his recovery.”

Buckingham had previously given a timeframe for Matete’s injury to the Oxford Mail, stating: “Jay will be out for about six to eight weeks, and obviously that will take us towards the end of the regular season.

“We’re just in discussions with Sunderland at the moment, to make a plan that is best for Jay, and make sure that he can get himself back to full fitness.”

It is the second injury of the campaign for the 23-year-old, who was ruled out for five months due to an issue with the meniscus in his other knee. He did not feature once for Sunderland this campaign.

Matete was an instrumental part of Plymouth Argyle‘s promotion-winning campaign in League One last season, with 22 appearances for the Pilgrims as they secured the title.

Oxford are currently in sixth place in the third division, only one point ahead of Stevenage and eight points behind fifth-placed Barnsley.

The Wearside club bought Matete in January 2022 from Fleetwood Town and has made a total of 25 appearances for the Stadium of Light team.

Writer’s View

It is yet more horrific luck for Jay Matete after another injury has spelt the end of his season. He will have missed a total of seven months of the 2023/24 campaign due to injuries when he finally recovers and the recall back to his parent club probably means the end of any potential football before May. He is contracted to the Championship side until 2026, so he still has the faith of the staff there and will probably get a chance to prove himself in pre-season.

Oxford United may well miss his presence now he has left. He had become a semi-regular fixture for Des Buckingham’s side throughout February and his departure leaves the midfield fairly thin. The U’s boss has been fairly flexible in his formation choice over recent weeks so perhaps he will play with just one six in Cameron Brannagan for the rest of the season.


About Lewis Gray 106 Articles
Third-year Journalism Student at Salford University. Writing mainly about League Two.

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