Sunderland target Gabriel would be 'ideal' signing after approach - Phillips

By Kevin Phillips

26th Jul, 2021 | 4:00pm

Sunderland told to finalise signing of promotion winner Gabriel after approach made - Kevin Phillips

Jordan Gabriel could be an “ideal” signing for Sunderland as back-up for Luke O’Nien at right-back.

That is according to Black Cats legend Kevin Phillips, speaking exclusively to Football Insider about the 22-year-old Nottingham Forest defender.

This site first broke news on 21st July that Sunderland had joined Blackpool in the race to sign Gabriel on a permanent deal.

Gabriel, who won promotion from League One on loan at Blackpool in 2020-21, has three years remaining on his Forest contract.

Phillips argues that O’Nien should remain Sunderland’s first-choice right-back next term but that Gabriel would make a “solid” stand-in option.

“Trying to bring in that solid right-back would be good,” he told Football Insider‘s Dylan Childs.

“Of course, they have Luke O’Nien. It will be interesting to see where he decides to play him going into the season.

“O’Nien would be your first-choice right-back. Whether he’s going to go into the season with him as a centre-half, it’s hard to say at the moment.

“But I think you do definitely need cover in that position as we showed last year when we had a couple of injuries.

“A player with experience would be ideal so he could be a good signing for Sunderland if they can get it done.”

Gabriel featured 27 times for Blackpool last term as they secured promotion to the Championship via the play-offs.

All-rounder O’Nien meanwhile made 38 appearances for Sunderland at right-back, centre-back, right midfield and centre midfield.

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