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25 April 2024

Sunderland's Ji could go on loan says O'Neill


South Korean forward Ji Dong-won could be allowed to leave Sunderland on loan during the January transfer window after failing to establish himself at the Premier League club.

Ji famously came off the bench to score the goal which condemned Manchester City to a 1-0 defeat in January 2012, but 12 months later he faces a bleak future at Sunderland.

The 21-year-old has endured a difficult time since moving to the Stadium of Light from Chunnam Dragons in June 2011 and Black Cats boss Martin O'Neill has revealed he will consider letting the forward go out on loan because he has found it hard to adapt to the physical demands of the Premier League.

Although he was included among the substitutes for Saturday's 2-1 defeat by Tottenham, Ji has been linked with a return to Chunnam Dragons and O'Neill admitted on Monday that a loan move is an option provided he can strengthen the squad first.

"There have been a number of enquiries about not only Ji, but a number of our players, and I am unable to tell you anything at this minute," O'Neill said.

"All I can say just from the general viewpoint is it's been a frustrating time for him just recently.

"He played in the Olympics, he didn't always start the games, I know, for South Korea, but perhaps after that goal against Manchester City a year ago, maybe he was hoping it would be lift-off time for him.

"He's found it difficult to cope with the physical aspect of the game.

"But he has natural talent and it's really up to him. But if there was a possibility of a loan spell perhaps, I will give it some consideration."