Shining bright from the Stadium of Light is Duncan Watmore, the 21-year-old England winger who is making huge leaps to prominence with his impressive performances for club and country.
Only a month after his first Premier League start against Southampton, Duncan Watmore is the talk of the town.
Being described as polite, modest and highly professional, this Sunderland youngster is on the verge of establishing himself as the first-team regular with Sam Allardyce, who has nothing but kind words of support for his talented youngster.
The experienced manager has decided to put the faith of his struggling team in the hands of a young man, who replied in the best way possible. Only seven appearances this season and three goals to his name are turning the lights on the youngster, who found the net in today’s triumph over Stoke to put his side out of the relegation zone.
Having stepped off the bench to replace Jermain Defoe, the flamboyant forward has been a breath of fresh air on the pitch and was crucial in his team’s 2-0 win over resilient Potters.
Bidding his time
Son of Ian Watmore, former chief executive of the Football Association, Duncan was signed from non-league Altrincham during Paolo Di Canio’s reign at the Stadium of Light.
However, the bright youngster was forced to wait for his time under spotlights, as neither Gus Poyet nor Dick Advocaat saw fit to include the 21-year-old in the first team. Perhaps a visionary, Sam Allardyce decided to give this boy a chance he thought Duncan deserved.
Selecting Watmore ahead of the more established Fabio Borini was perhaps seen as a moment of madness, but it is paying dividends. For club and for country.
Duncan Watmore is making a huge impact in Gareth Southgate’s Under-21 side coming off the bench in the Euro 2017 qualifier against Switzerland earlier this month to change the proceedings and make a match-winning effect. Southgate called upon Watmore with 15 minutes on the clock and the lad immediately found space in the area to create the best chance in the game for his team.
Inspiring England to a 3-1 win with one goal and two assists, Watmore made sure to announce himself on the biggest stage. Since that night in Brighton he is showing no signs of slowing down.
Watmore possesses great movement and vision to find spaces to run into or to send balls through. Despite his tender age, Duncan Watmore displays determination and discipline, but his on-pitch awareness has been particularly impressive.
This right-footed winger is capable of operating on both sides of the pitch, but he can also play in the central attacking position. Technically strong, Duncan also possesses great pace and acceleration, all rounded with clever movement.
Intelligent player and intelligent young man in general.
Interesting fact, the 21-year-old England international is making a huge impression off-field as well. Duncan Watmore has become only the second player in Premier League history to pick up first-class honours degree.
David Wetherall, former Sheffield Wednesday, Leeds and Bradford player did it in 1992, having graduated in the subject of Chemistry at the University of Sheffield.
Sunderland’s young pearl did it earlier this year, scoring a first-class honours degree in Economics and Business management at Newcastle University. Watmore began his studies at the University of Manchester while playing for his non-league club, but was later on transferred to Newcastle in 2013, upon his arrival to Sunderland.
Duncan Watmore has been already rewarded for his fine performances in recent weeks. Described as the new Gareth Bale by his teammates, Sunderland striker has signed new four-year bumper deal which will see him remain at the Stadium of Light until 2020.
Black Cats reacted quickly to make sure to hold on to this young pearl who was going out of contract next summer. Released from Manchester United as a kid, Watmore is fully dedicated to his Sunderland cause, though.
“I am delighted to commit my future to Sunderland. I’ve had a great few years here developing my game and I hope to push on further”, said Watmore.
Making a verdict on his qualities and future will be a premature call, but there is no doubt that Duncan Watmore will continue to give his best to make his father proud on the way to earn his Premier League degree as well and pass each test with flying colors.