Parkinson must unleash “tremendous” SAFC gem who’s played just 136 mins all season – opinion

Parkinson must unleash “tremendous” SAFC gem who’s played just 136 mins all season – opinion

Phil Parkinson cannot hold Callum McFadzean back any longer after two excellent displays and must unleash the Sunderland defender in Saturday’s League One clash with MK Dons, should he overcome fears of a hamstring injury.

What’s the word?

According to the Evening Express, McFadzean is a major doubt for this weekend’s meeting at the Stadium of Light after being forced off late into Tuesday’s Papa John’s Trophy defeat at Fleetwood Town.

Parkinson had been hopeful that the blow was not serious and would wait for further assessments before deciding on the 26-year-old’s involvement against MK Dons, with Oliver Younger (hamstring) and Cieran Dunne (shoulder) also casualties of the midweek loss.

McFadzean had left a positive impression on Parkinson at Highbury, with the Black Cats boss noting after the game via quotes by the Sunderland Echo: “I thought he was tremendous and gave us a real creative spark down the left. He got us that goal and then when he had to go into left-sided centre-back, I thought he was excellent there as well.”

Parkinson may be without McFadzean against MK Dons, however, as additional assessments have raised question marks over the severity of his hamstring injury, potentially further depriving Sunderland of first-team players with Tom Flanagan and Conor McLaughlin away on international duty.

Luke O’Nien, Lynden Gooch and Denver Hume are also doubts, though Josh Scowen could make his return with the midfielder back in training after suffering a concussion during last week’s 2-1 win over Ipswich Town.

Time to unleash McFadzean

McFadzean’s displays in Sunderland’s FA Cup loss at home to Mansfield and role in Tuesday’s 2-1 defeat at Fleetwood rightly left a positive impression on Parkinson, as Sunderland’s summer capture has shown why the Black Cats sought his signature after the defender was released by Plymouth Argyle.

The left-sided full-back, who is also capable of playing centrally, offered an impressive debut in the FA Cup, when he delivered a string of excellent crosses and forced a save out of Mansfield’s goalkeeper Marek Stech.

He then turned in another fine performance in the EFL Trophy before limping off in the 61st-minute, with McFadzean scoring his first Sunderland goal with a low strike off the inside of the right-hand post after the ball broke kindly to the former Scotland U21 international just inside the box.

It was not only his goal that stood out, either, as McFadzean attempted five ground duels, one aerial duel, delivered two crosses and attempted five long balls during his time on the field, while being fouled twice, per SofaScore.

Parkinson will no doubt be keen to offer McFadzean his Sunderland league debut against MK Dons this weekend and it is certainly time to unleash the 26-year-old after seeing just 136-minutes of him all season, should fears over his hamstring injury subside in time.

AND in other news, a Sunderland talent who “pleased” Phil Parkinson in 2019 took a major step back at Fleetwood.

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