TONY MOWBRAY is delighted with Anthony Patterson’s new contract at Sunderland – but admits the club will have to keep pushing towards the Premier League if they are to hold on to the homegrown goalkeeper for the full duration of his new deal.

Patterson’s new agreement ties him to the Stadium of Light until the summer of 2028, and is reward for the 23-year-old’s development since forcing his way into the first-team picture on Wearside a couple of seasons ago.

Since returning from a loan spell at Notts County to solve a goalkeeping crisis under Alex Neil, Patterson has established himself as Sunderland’s number one and made his international debut with England Under-21s.

An excellent shot-stopper who commands his 18-yard box and remains unruffled no matter what the state of the game, Patterson boasts all the attributes needed to succeed at the very highest level.

However, while his new deal runs for the next five years, Mowbray admits it will only run its course if Sunderland can continue to keep pace with Patterson’s ambitions, which will inevitably involve playing in the Premier League at some stage in the future.

“Patto has the potential to go to the very top,” said the Sunderland boss. “You watch him in training, and it’s hard to beat him because he’s such a big frame. He’s got wonderful attributes for a goalkeeper – he’s very, very calm and he generally does very well at keeping the ball out of the net.

“If anything, the club has to keep progressing as fast as we can to keep our best players because what will happen is if we don’t threaten the play-offs again, or look like we can get to the Premier League, then the best players at this club are going to get taken by Premier League clubs.


“The best-case scenario for this club over the next few years is to push on and try to get to the Premier League so we can recompense these footballers and pay them the salary they’re happy with as they continue to come through at the club they want to be at.

“Let’s hope that’s what happens, otherwise their talent will attract clubs who can pay them more money and give them a Premier League career. I think Patto falls into that category because he’s a very, very talented young guy.”

North Shields-born Patterson joined Sunderland’s academy more than a decade ago, and trained with current England number one Jordan Pickford during his early days at the Academy of Light.

He will make his 85th senior Sunderland appearance in Sunday’s home game with Cardiff City, and needed no persuading to sign the new long-term deal that was announced this morning.

“I’m absolutely delighted to sign a new contract because you can see the trajectory the club is on, and it’s an exciting time to be here,” said Patterson, who made his senior Sunderland debut in an EFL Cup win at Port Vale in August 2021.

“It’s obviously an absolute dream to come through the academy to where I am now, as when you first join the club at the age of ten, you don’t ever think too much about actually playing for Sunderland.

“I just want to keep improving, help the team as much as I can, and hopefully that ensures the club finishes as high as possible this season.”