By Kevin Phillips

26th Jul, 2021 | 7:30am

Phillips thrilled by what he's seen from Doyle at Sunderland

Kevin Phillips is in awe of new Sunderland signing Callum Doyle following his impressive start to pre-season.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the Stadium of Light legend said the 17-year-old’s early displays offer real cause for optimism heading into the 2021-22 campaign.

On July 16th, Sunderland confirmed the signing of the teenage centre-half on a season-long loan deal from Manchester City.

He has appeared and starred in the three subsequent pre-season friendlies, including Saturday’s 4-0 win over Harrogate Town.

Doyle is expected to start the first game of the season against Wigan Athletic, given his form and the Black Cats current lack of squad depth.

When asked by Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs if he was surprised by how quickly Doyle had settled, Phillips said:

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“It just shows that when you have been at a club like Man City, in and around all of these top players, nothing fazes him.

“Young players now are so confident. He’s probably thought, ‘Right, I’m going to go there and show people just what I can do.’

“Doyle is used to seeing world stars walking past him day in and day out. It is no disrespect to anyone at Sunderland but he probably feels confident in his own ability straight away.

“It is great to hear that he has been the standout performer in the first few games. As a Sunderland supporter it is exciting going into the new season.”

In other news, Kevin Phillips shares his ‘big’ Sunderland youngster prediction after Lee Johnson speaks out.