SUNDERLAND will reassess Jack Diamond’s loan spell at Harrogate Town at the turn of the year, with Lee Johnson considering recalling the midfielder back to Wearside in January.

Diamond joined Harrogate on a season-long loan at the end of August, but the deal that took the 21-year-old back to Wetherby Road included a clause that enables Sunderland to recall him for the second half of the season.

While Johnson is blessed with plenty of options in Diamond’s preferred attacking-midfield role, he is short of alternatives at full-back or wing-back.

Diamond played as a wing-back in the early stages of Johnson’s Stadium of Light reign, and while the Black Cats boss is considering a move into the free-agent market in order to address his lack of defensive options, recalling the 21-year-old is another potential solution.

“It’s (Diamond’s loan) always under review,” said Johnson, ahead of tomorrow evening’s League One game at Shrewsbury Town. “It’s fluid, an ever-changing landscape.

"Like with Anthony Patterson (who was recently recalled from a loan spell at Notts County), Jack is a young player we are heavily invested in, in terms of development but also in terms of contract.

“We want to give him the opportunity to keep developing, keep playing games, and if I couldn’t commit to (him having) 12 to 15 starts before January, it was better for him to go somewhere else and then that potentially aids us in the second half of the season, or continues his development at Harrogate.”

Johnson remains in close contact with Diamond, and the youngster actually trained at the Academy of Light for a couple of days during the recent international break.

“We’ve kept a close eye on him,” said the Black Cats boss. “We watch all his games, and he’s bringing out his top attributes as you’d expect from a player playing at slightly under his level in terms of the league.

"He wanted to go there, and we felt the location was good. It meant we could get him back in last week and keep an eye on him.”