“It’s frustrating” – Alex Neil reveals extent of Sunderland attacker’s injury | OneFootball

“It’s frustrating” – Alex Neil reveals extent of Sunderland attacker’s injury

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Sunderland boss Alex Neil has revealed that Leon Dajaku missed last night’s Carabao Cup defeat to Sheffield Wednesday due to a minor injury.

The Championship side were beaten 2-0 at Hillsborough by their League One opposition with Dennis Adeniran and Sylla Sow finding the net.

The Black Cats boss opted to shuffle his pack for the trip to South Yorkshire – making 11 changes to the starting XI for the first round tie as he looked to rest his first-string players after the first few weeks of the 2022/23 campaign.

With neither Ellis Simms or Ross Stewart included, Dajaku would have been a likely candidate to start as a the central striker against Wednesday but it was Jack Diamond that got the nod with the young German absent completely.

Speaking to Chronicle Live after the game, Neil revealed the 21-year-old was missing due to an injury.

He explained: “Unfortunately, Leon wasn’t with us due to injury.

“I brought him on at Bristol and he tweaked his thigh. He would have been one I could have maybe put up top, or at wingback because he has played there before.

“It’s a minor one [injury], so it’s frustrating. He came on at the weekend for Ellis [Simms] because at the moment we have only got two centre-forwards, but Leon has played there for us in pre-season against Roma so he understands the role and knows how to do the job.”

Dajaku signed permanently for Sunderland in the summer – joining from Union Berlin after an initial loan spell in 2021/22.

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The Verdict

Dajaku’s injury highlights Sunderland’s lack of depth in forward areas and Neil will hope to have the 21-year-old back as soon as possible.

The good news is that it is a minor injury but it remains to be seen whether he will be available for Saturday’s game against QPR.

If he is not it means that the Black Cats have no cover for Simms and Stewart, which is a particular issue as they started together to great effect against Bristol City last weekend.

Work still needs to be done to Neil’s squad before the window closes.

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