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Transfer news: Sunderland release striker after non-league stint in ‘ruthless’ decision



Harry Gardiner, a striker for Sunderland, is no longer with the team, according to The Echo.

Gardiner stayed on Wearside until 2024 after agreeing to a fresh one-year contract with the team last summer. However, with the young player now expected to go, as first reported by BBC Look North, the club has decided against providing the forward a new contract.

After joining Sunderland in 2021, Gardiner played on loan for South Shields last season, where he was coached by legendary Black Cats player Kevin Phillips during the team’s promotion from the Northern Premier League.

After playing for half of the season with Sunderland’s under-21 team in 2023–24, Gardiner joined Blyth Spartans in January. He had a respectable record in the National League North, scoring five goals in 15 games. But Spartans lost out on promotion at the end of the season, and they recently hired Nobby Solano, a former player for Newcastle United, to take over as manager.

With just three goals from recognized strikers this season—two from colleague Nazariy Rusyn and one from Mason Burstow, a Chelsea loanee—Sunderland finished 16th in the Championship. Hemir Semedo, a summer signing, was unable to score, while Elizier Mayenda, who was unable to score for Sunderland, played the second part of the season on loan at Hibernian.

Before Sheffield Wednesday, Dodds said, “Sometimes,” to a question from the BBC on Gardiner and whether or not fresh arrivals were impeding his path. There aren’t many strikers who fit the description of traditional, old-school number nines. Not many come to mind.

Since traditional number nines are rare and valuable, their cost is likewise extremely high. The nine position has, in my opinion, received a lot of attention this season, and with good reason—we have occasionally had trouble scoring goals.

“I don’t believe that the club needs to acquire a number nine; instead, we need to develop more diverse attacking options and, with all due respect, the attackers need to be more reliable. This season, some of our attackers have played well, while others haven’t. For certain of our players, there must be a contemplation.

They need to get better. I have some responsibility for it, and they have some responsibility for that. Regarding Harry, we’ve shown that we are willing to give young players chances if we believe it is appropriate. This year, Dan Neil, Anthony Patterson, and Chris Rigg. Harrison Jones may be the one next year. Zak Johnson has obviously gone out on loan. Due to Matty youthful’s outstanding performance, there is a charming group of youthful players.

“I get your point that we have brought in three players, with Harry sort of fourth or fifth in line, but the industry is cruel and sometimes there are two or three people in your way. As for Harry’s situation, I can’t really comment on the club’s decision.

“Chris Rigg has accomplished it, and it’s a great illustration of a younger player pushing more experienced guys aside.”



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