SUNDERLAND manager Lee Johnson believes that a ‘hungry’ Trai Hume is at the right club to be moulded into a player they believe can be a huge asset.

The teenage defender signed a four-and-a-half year deal at the Stadium of Light on Tuesday for an undisclosed fee from Northern Irish Premier League side Linfield. Hume was in attendance at the Stadium of Light for last week’s 5-0 humbling win against Sheffield Wednesday where he saw the very best of the Black Cats in action.

Despite being at the tender age of 19, Hume comes to Wearside with plenty of experience and a big reputation in Irish football. This season alone, he’s scored three goals and provided two assists in 17 matches from right-back but he is also comfortable enough to play in midfield. He boasts more than 50 appearances having spent last season with Ballymena United, has also featured in Europa League qualifying games and has played for Northern Ireland's Under-21's side.

Sunderland fought off competition from a number of teams to seal his signature and tie him down to a contract until 2026. The signing is also a continuation of the club's transfer policy of recuriting youngsters that can add to the first-team as part of a long term project which has included the likes of Dennis Cirkin and Niall Huggins. 

The manager says they wouldn’t have done that unless they think they can tap into his quality and get the best out of a promising young footballer.

“I hope he brings the attributes that we require to play in our team” said Johnson.

“I think that it’s an exciting signing. I think listening to him and his journey and his story, it’s a real Roy of the Rovers type story.

“He’s very hungry, he’s very humble as well and he’s very happy to be here.

“We wouldn’t recruit him unless we believe that we couldn’t mould him into the player he can be but also he has to be able to show those key attributes on a regular basis, which he’s done. He’s done that in men’s football which is good to see.”

Hume is in contention for this weekend’s trip to Wycombe Wanderers in League One where they will be looking to extend their unbeaten run to ten games.

Johnson is hopeful that Carl Winchester will be available having missed the last two games with a training ground knock. However, the biggest concern is a number of positive Covid cases in the squad that could affect whether their meeting with Gareth Ainsworth’s side goes ahead. Defender Frederik Alves is the only named player to have received a positive test.