Jake Clarke-Salter arrived at the Stadium of Light on loan from Chelsea in January, tasked with helping Sunderland avoid relegation to League One.
It is fair to say the plan did not exactly come to fruition. The highly-rated centre-back made just 11 appearances for the Black Cats, conceded 24 goals and was even sent off in successive games against Middlesbrough and Preston.
So if you are a Sunderland fan, the amount of alleged interest in Clarke-Salter from Premier League and Champions League clubs could seem a little baffling.
HITC sources are telling us that Fulham and Burnley are keen on the 21-year-old, who has also been scouted by Bundesliga teams Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen during his current loan spell at Chelsea feeder club Vitesse Arnhem.
While Clarke-Salter has impressed in Holland, the likes of Fulham should perhaps remember his Sunderland spell and be a little wary.
Slavisa Jokanovic’s side have been worryingly porous at the back since being promoted to the Premier League, conceding a joint league-high 16 goals already, and it is difficult to see how a young and erratic Clarke-Salter could transform their fortunes.
That said, maybe it is a little unfair to question a young player thrown into a Sunderland side in crisis on and off the pitch at a crunch time of the season.
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