Following a handful of promising first team appearances in the first half of the 2016-17 season, the expectation was that Ovie Ejaria was primed to make a breakthrough until an ankle injury sidelined him for the second half and set him back in his development.
This season, he’s been working his way back up to full fitness, but to fully get back on track he needs minutes with the first team that Jürgen Klopp hasn’t been able to give him. Now, according to The Northern Echo, he’s heading out on loan to solve the problem.
The paper of record for Sunderland say the 20-year-old midfielder Liverpool stole away from Arsenal in 2014 is set to join the Black Cats for the second half of a 2017-18 season that has seen them struggle to move out of the relegation zone in the Championship.
Currently they sit 22nd, third worst in the league, level on points with Hull City but behind on goal differential. Ahead of them, Bolton and Barnsley also look like they could be caught, while behind them Birmingham and Burton Albion are a point off their pace.
It’s a six-team dogfight at the bottom, then, and Sunderland need help—they even previously tried to take Ben Woodburn on loan, but following the sale of Philippe Coutinho the decision was made by Liverpool to not let the young attacker depart this month.
Hopefully, if the deal does go through, regular minutes in such a high-pressure environment—a former Premier League mainstay trying to avoid falling into the third tier—will provide the playing time and experience Ejaria needs at this stage in his career.