Adam Matthews making massive career strides with Sunderland switch
Celtic full back Adam Matthews is set to continue his rise to prominence after the Bhoys sold their attacking right back to Sunderland for £2m where he has signed a four-year deal. The Wales defender is set to boost his club and international career now that he plies his trade in the Premier League.
A successful academy graduate of boyhood club Cardiff City, Matthews has grown from strength to strength since making his professional debut for the Bluebirds in 2009, having been previously linked with a move to England’s top-flight early in his career.
Manchester United were reported to be close to capturing the talented full back as early as his maiden professional campaign with the Bluebirds (7/1 with Coral to be promoted 2015/16), but the Welshman enjoyed two personally potent seasons before Glasgow giants Celtic came calling, an offer he couldn’t refuse.
— Sunderland AFC (@SunderlandAFC) July 3, 2015
The 23-year-old has been a mainstay in the Hoops defence since his arrival at Parkhead in 2011, going on to make 148 appearances, including 42 outings last term as Ronny Deila guided the Bhoys to a fourth successive Premiership crown.
Matthews, who has also shown versatility by deputising in a more advanced wide role on the left and right flanks in Scotland, also boasts plenty of strong showings in Europe’s elite club competition during Neil Lennon’s reign.
With Celtic having captured Manchester United right back Saidy Janko recently, as well as Manchester City’s Dedryck Boyata, Deila has plenty of defensive cover as Matthews makes a Premier League move.
Hoops boss Deila has been busy lightening his squad this summer, with right backs Mikael Lustig and Darnell Fisher also on the Bhoys’ books, and Matthews joins a Black Cats revolution under Dutchman and former Rangers coach Dick Advocaat.
Sunderland narrowly survived the drop to the Championship last term with a mini-revival during the season run-in, and are keen to avoid another daunting relegation battle next campaign (2/1 to go down).
The Wearside club have already captured Uruguay international centre half Sebastian Coates form Liverpool on a permanent deal, having impressed at the end of last season’s survival scalp, while the club are also keen on pairing him with Zenit St Petersburg’s Nicolas Lombaerts.
Further forward, the Black Cats are looking at Stewart Downing, whose future at West Ham United looks increasingly uncertain following the capture of creative France international Dimitri Payet, and head coach Advoacaat’s attacking compatriot Jeremain Lens from Dynamo Kiev.
Welsh wideman Matthews has shown from his early Cardiff days he has both the attacking and defensive attributes in order to make a genuine impact in England’s top level, and the Stadium of Light will soon provide him with the platform to showcase those talents.
Capped 12 times for his country, including seven starts, Matthews will hope his high-profile switch to the Premier League will also catapult him into Chris Coleman’s immediate thinking for Euro 2016 qualifying later this year and the tournament in France next summer, as Wales continue to cause shockwaves in Group B (125/1 to win).