Sunderland sporting director Kristjaan Speakman has reiterated the club did everything in their power to keep Francis Okoronkwo after the striker left for Everton.

The 16-year-old had received extremely high ratings at the Stadium of Light, but such a form caught the attention of some of the top clubs in the country.

And since Okoronkwo doesn’t have a professional contract with the Black Cats due to his age, it has always been difficult for the club to convince the player to stay on Wearside.

A move for the teenager was announced today, with Everton believed to have paid around £ 1 million to attract the talent.

This understandably frustrated some of the supporters who want to see an opportunity for academy players in the future. Speaking to the club’s media, however, Speakman explained how they did everything in their power to get Okoronkwo to stay.

“We are disappointed that Francis and his family made the decision to leave the football club earlier this summer as we showed him a clear path to continue his development into the first team.

“During the summer we demonstrated our ability to retain and attract young talent and we began to recognize our long-term commitment to making our local players an integral part of our philosophy and future success.”

The judgment

This is a shame for Sunderland as Okoronkwo is clearly a player with huge potential and fans wanted him to wear the red and white shirt in the future.

But it’s not meant to be, and most fans will realize that the club was in a difficult position here.

According to Speakman’s comments, they did everything they could to convince the striker to stay on Wearside and were ready to give him chances further down but he has decided to join Everton.

Thoughts? Let us know in the comments below.

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