With Tom Beadling impressing on loan, could Sunderland make a mistake?

Chris Coleman manager of Sunderland reacts during the Sky Bet Championship match between Sunderland and Reading at Stadium of Light on December 2, 2017 in Sunderland, England.

Championship bottom side Sunderland loaned defender Tom Beadling out to Scottish second tier side Dunfermline Athletic in the January transfer window.

Tom Beadling of Sunderland in action during the pre season friendly between Livingston and Sunderland at Almondvale Stadium on July 12, 2017 in Livingston, Scotland.

It looked like Tom Beadling would never play for Sunderland when he joined Dunfermline on a six-month loan deal in the January transfer window.

The 22-year-old has been with the Black Cats since the age of eight but, despite being comfortably out of his teenage years, has never made a first-team appearance for the Wearside giants.

And with his contract at the Stadium of Light set to expire at the end of this season, it seemed that a spell at Dunfermline had ended his hopes of pulling on those red and white stripes.

Tom Beadling of Sunderland in action during the pre season friendly between Hibernian and Sunderland at Easter Road on July 9, 2017 in Edinburgh, Scotland.

But if Beadling, who spent a number of years in Australia as a child and was called up for a Socceroos U20 camp in 2013, continues to impress in Scotland’s second tier, it would be unfair to suggest that there was no chance he could earn a new deal.

Beadling made an impressive start to life with the Pars, scoring in a 2-1 defeat to Greenock Morton before standing out in the goalless draw at Livingston at the weekend.

In the meantime, Sunderland have let far too many academy products leave in recent years without giving them a chance, including Conor Hourihane and Josh Egan (below), both of whom are impressing in the Championship at rival clubs.

John Egan of Brentford applauds supporters during the Sky Bet Championship match between Brentford and Fulham at Griffin Park on November 4, 2016 in Brentford, England.

And the Black Cats will need new defenders in the summer regardless of whether or not they avoid relegation to League One with Lamine Kone certain to go, John O’Shea well past his best and Jake Clarke-Salter only on loan from Chelsea.

Lacking the funds for new additions, academy graduates should be crucial for Sunderland. Which means they should keep a close eye on Beadling.

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