Sunderland’s Anthony Patterson Can Follow in Jordan Pickford’s Footsteps 

Sunderland's Anthony Patterson

Sunderland’s Anthony Patterson has enjoyed a meteoric rise this past year. The 22-year-old goalkeeper has gone from playing on loan at National League side Notts County to becoming the Black Cats’ number one. He has easily stepped up to the Championship with many praising his performances. Should he continue to improve he could follow former Sunderland star Jordan Pickford and play at the highest level.

Read More: Sunderland Cult Heroes Part One and Sunderland Cult Heroes Part Two

Sunderland’s Anthony Patterson Can Follow in England International Jordan Pickford’s Footsteps 

Successful Loan Spells

Before becoming Sunderland’s number one, Jordan Pickford enjoyed several successful loan spells away from Wearside. Time at Bradford City, Carlisle United and Preston North End amongst others helped the young keeper gain valuable first-team experience. Returning to Sunderland, he quickly made the goalkeeper’s position his own while rising through the ranks to eventually become England’s first choice following his big-money move to Everton.

Anthony Patterson has also taken a similar route; however, his journey to becoming the Black Cats’ number one was much shorter than Pickford’s. A move to National League side Notts County in 2021 saw the young shot-stopper impress. He was recalled due to injuries and was put straight into the Sunderland first team.

Patterson’s form during the second half of last season helped the team reach and win the play-off final at Wembley. He has stepped up to the championship with ease with a string of impressive performances. Should he continue to perform to his current standard, it will only be a matter of time before other clubs and England begin to take a closer look at him.

Made the Sunderland Number One Spot His Own 

Saves such as the one above have been common since Patterson became number one. Question marks had been raised about his communication and command of his area; however, these have improved beyond doubt. Can they be improved further? Without a doubt. Patterson is still very young for a first-team goalkeeper and any attributes that need work can be mastered in training and the more first-team action he receives.

Along with the attributes that are getting better, his agility, handling and shot-stopping ability has made Patterson a hero amongst fans and the Sunderland number one position his own.

Form Rewarded With New Contract

 

Shortly after signing his new long-term contract, Patterson said: “I’ve had a brilliant year and couldn’t be happier to have signed a new contract. I joined the club when I was 10, so to play my part in promotion and winning at Wembley Stadium was a dream come true.

“I’m now focussed on the new season and improving my overall game to ensure I prove myself in the Championship and continue to help the team.”

Tony Mowbray Praises His Young Keeper and Says What He Can Improve On

In the build-up to Saturday’s game at Swansea City, head coach Tony Mowbray praised his keeper but also advised that there is still plenty to learn. He said: “He’s been really good, I have to say. He does things naturally that I like about goalkeepers, takes a really good starting position, he’s not always stuck on his line, so if the ball is out wide and they are going to cross it, he is generally on the edge of his six-yard box knowing that he can get to the near post if there is miskicked cross that looks like it is going in.

“At times he has shown a little bit of hesitancy, but he is a young boy and he is playing behind experienced players like Danny Batth. He has to learn to use his voice and take command of his area, but generally, his shot-stopping and his distribution has been pretty good.

“If you want to break goalkeepers down, it’s not just about saving shots it’s about taking crosses. It’s about the bravery of their positional play as the game is going on.

“Are they threatening every cross that comes in, or are they always glued to their line? He’s shown good qualities to be brave but also to keep the ball out of his net, he has made some good saves.

“We like him. We like his personality, and that is something we are developing further.”

The Sky Is the Limit for Sunderland’s Anthony Patterson Following Meteoric Rise

Still only 22 years old, Patterson still has much to learn; however, his rise from playing National League football to helping Sunderland win promotion to his stepping up to Championship level with ease has been a delight to watch for fans.

The Black Cats resisted the temptation to sign an experienced keeper for this season, allowing Patterson to develop in the first team. The trust has paid off with the North Shields born and Sunderland supporting shot-stopper letting no one down.

How far he goes in the game is down to him. He has shown his quality and should he continue to improve then he could follow former Sunderland favourite Jordan Pickford in playing at the highest level.