Sunderland player Callum Doyle in action during the Sky Bet League One match between Sunderland and Plymouth Argyle at Stadium of Light on December 11, 2021 in Sunderland, England.
Callum Doyle joined the Black Cats on loan last summer and has been a near ever-present for Lee Johnson’s side so far this campaign.
Playing in 23 of Sunderland’s 24 League One matches, the 18-year-old has shown the maturity and solidity of a far more experienced central defender.
Doyle has also bagged his first senior goal whilst at the Stadium of Light, a header during a 5-0 win against Sheffield Wednesday on Wednesday to send the Black Cats to the top of the league.
Sunderland fans have been delighted with the first half of his season, despite the reality the better Doyle plays, the less likely he will be able to stay on Wearside for a second season.
Players of a similar age have moments which highlight a lack of first-team experience, but any instances of naivety from Doyle have been very few and far between.
A solid performer at the back, Doyle is also very comfortable with the ball at his feet. Seemingly one to embrace a role as a ball-playing centre-back, he often carries the ball deep into the opposition half. This style of play has also helped him to chip in with two assists this season.
Sunderland’s line-up for most matches in 2021/22 has benefited Doyle, with the opportunities for him to take the ball out being created thanks to the experienced heads of Bailey Wright and Tom Flanagan alongside him.
Doyle has the presence and eye of a central defender who is cut out to play at the highest level in the English game, and judging from his performances so far this season, he may become a player who the coaching staff at City will find hard to ignore in the coming years.