DION SANDERSON is pleased to see Jobe Bellingham making a name for himself at Sunderland – although he admits he did not expect to see the teenager getting his name onto the scoresheet at the weekend.

Bellingham joined Sunderland from Birmingham City at the weekend, turning down the offer of a new contract at St Andrew’s in order to move to the North-East.

The 18-year-old has had a hugely successful start to his Black Cats career, with Saturday’s opening strike against his former side taking his tally for the season to three.

Sanderson played with Bellingham last season and is delighted to see his former team-mate doing so well, even if he did not anticipate having to congratulate him on a goal at the weekend.

Sanderson said: “It was good to see Jobe. It’s good to see him here and I wish him all the best. I didn’t expect him to score to be honest, but fair play to him.

“That (the move) was his decision he made himself, that he wanted to play first-team football. He is more than capable of that, and he is finding that here. Good luck to him.”

Sanderson has his own links to Sunderland, having spent the majority of the 2020-21 season on loan at the Stadium of Light from Wolves.


Sunderland looked into signing the centre-half permanently after he made 27 senior appearances during his loan spell, but after two loans with Birmingham, Sanderson eventually joined the Blues on a permanent basis this summer, signing a four-year contract at St Andrew’s.

Sanderson said: “It was good to be back (at Sunderland). I have good memories, apart from when I got injured, but it was good to see some familiar faces.

“The Sunderland fans have always been good to me. They gave me a good reception, and there’s certainly a lot of them. I have nothing but good memories and stories of my time here.”