Sunderland have submitted a new bid valued at just over £1 million for Exeter City’s Josh Key.
Sunderland Launch a Fourth Bid for Exeter City’s Josh Key
Josh Key Has Had One Season in EFL – But Has Already Impressed Sunderland
The 21-year old has had spells out on loan with Bideford and Tiverton Town but then excelled when given the chance to feature regularly for his parent club last season. Making 43 appearances, the player managed one goal and five assists, helping his side to a top-half finish.
Since impressing for the League Two side, he has begun to draw interest from further up the football pyramid. One interested party is Sunderland, who are looking to kick on and try and bag themselves a promotion from the third tier in the 2021/22 season.
In fact, they’re that desperate to land Key that they have made a total of FOUR bids for the player so far including, as reported by Sky Sports’ Lyall Thomas, this latest one.
This fresh bid is believed to be worth over £1m and could finally tempt Exeter into letting go of one of their most promising young talents.
Featured Regularly in League Two
It’s a lot of money for a player who only really broke onto the scene in the EFL in the last campaign. Those appearances for his club last season were his first in League Two and he has yet to test himself a league higher in League One.
However, Sunderland clearly like what they see are prepared to part with a seven-figure fee to try and get their man.
If you look at Key’s underlying stats though, you can see the positive impact he has on his team and it could be why the Black Cats are so eager to bring him to the club.
With Key in the side, Exeter managed 62 goals while he played and conceded only 42. That’s a positive ratio of +20, which shows that he is integral to the League Two side defending well and also bagging at the other end of the pitch. In fact, it’s the fourth best record of any player at the club last season, with only Matt Jay, Jake Taylor and Ryan Bowman having a better record than that in 2020/21.
Exeter City Are a Better Team with Key in the Side
Furthermore, he also has a record of 1.53 points-per-match on average when he plays. Of anyone in the Exeter side who played 40+ games last campaign, it’s the third best record. Again, this goes to show how important he is to Exeter wrapping up positive results. With him in the side, they look more likely to stifle the opposition but also to get up the other end of the pitch and capitalise too.
Despite only featuring regularly in non-league before last season then, Key has seemingly taken to the step up like a duck to water. He’s shown no signs of being fazed and a further step up to League One level could be the next logical move to him. Although he would no doubt like to make the leap up with his current side, Sunderland also represents the opportunity for the player to even challenge at the top end of League One and potentially bag a spot in the Championship in the near future. It’s an opportunity that both Exeter and Josh Key might find too good to turn down.