Phillips tells Sunderland to beat Sheffield United to 'sensational' Sanderson after Wolves reveal

Kevin Phillips has told Dion Sanderson to reject Sheffield United and sign for Sunderland permanently this summer.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the 2000 European Golden Shoe winner said the 21-year-old will be a “hero” if he helps the club back to the Championship this season.

Sanderson moved to the Stadium of Light on a season-long loan deal from Wolves in October.

He has made 21 appearances across all competitions this season, and has started the Black Cats’ last eight league games.

Football Insider understands Wolves may sell the centre-half for just £2million this summer with Premier League strugglers Sheffield United keeping tabs on him.

Phillips urged Sanderson to remain on Wearside and experience a full Stadium of Light next season.

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“Sanderson has been sensational since he has come into the side,” he told Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs.

“He has settled in so well. He can defend but he is also a threat going forward and we have seen that with the goal he scored.

“It is a difficult scenario if Sunderland were to go up. They will want to keep hold of him but it would be tough if a Premier League team comes in for him.

“You would like to think that he would choose Sunderland over Sheffield United though. My advice would be stay.

“He has never experienced the Stadium of Light when it is full. If he helps them get back to the Championship he will become a hero.

“There will be 35,000 maybe 40,000 fans in next season if they do. It will then sink in for him how massive and how great a club Sunderland is.” 

In other news, Phillips hails ‘clever PR’ from Louis-Dreyfus and reveals details of a meeting with the new Sunderland owner.