Is Reece James already fighting for his future at Sunderland?

Sunderland manager Jack Ross applauds the fans on the final whistle during the Sky Bet League One match between Gillingham and Sunderland at Priestfield Stadium on August 22, 2018 in...

League One Sunderland signed Reece James from Wigan Athletic this summer but he's facing competition from Denver Hume and Bryan Oviedo.

Reece James of Sunderland during the Carabao Cup First Round between Sunderland and Sheffield Wednesday at Stadium of Light on August 16, 2018 in Sunderland, United Kingdom.

Sunderland would have known that they were taking a risk when they signed Reece James on a one-year deal this summer.

The former Manchester United youngster was part of the Wigan Athletic team that won the League One title and reached the quarter-finals of the FA Cup in 2017/18. But James has endured an injury ravaged couple of years, featuring in just 22 league games last season after missing the entirety of the previous campaign.

 

And, after picking up another problem in pre-season, the 24-year-old has started just two of Sunderland’s first seven League One games under Jack Ross. So the next few months are crucial if James wants to ensure that the Stadium of Light remains his home for the foreseeable future.

Competition

Bryan Oviedo stayed on Wearside against all the odds this summer and the Costa Rican star, who missed the 1-1 draw with Oxford last time out due to international duty, is one of the third tier’s best full-backs. In five games, Oviedo has produced three assists.

Bryan Oviedo of Costa Rica runs after the ball during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group E match between Brazil and Costa Rica at Saint Petersburg Stadium on June 22, 2018 in Saint...

Furthermore, Denver Hume has also stepped up in recent weeks and looks like the next academy graduate to seal his place in the first team. Perhaps worryingly for James, Hume was picked to start ahead of him at left-back against Oxford on Saturday and he impressed too.

With James’ contract only running until next summer, he needs to put those injuries behind him and force his way into Sunderland’s XI before it’s too late.

Reece James of Sunderland (L) challenges Josh Ruffles of Oxford during the Sky Bet League One match Sunderland and Oxford United at Stadium of Light on September 1, 2018 in Sunderland,...

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