April 13, 2024

Alex Pritchard has received plenty of praise for his role in Sunderland’s narrow win over Leeds United yesterday.

The midfielder was brought back into the starting line-up after bagging two assists in the weekend’s victory against West Brom, continuing to prove exactly why he should be a regular for the Black Cats.

Alex Pritchard looked set to leave Sunderland in the summer, much to the fans’ frustration. However, the 30-year-old ended up staying beyond deadline day, but has since only managed five starts.

Despite being pushed further forward than his natural position last night, Pritchard put on another sensational performance as he helped the team claim all three points and retain their spot in the Championship play-off positions.

Pritchard picked up a very clever assist for Jobe Bellingham’s winner, as well as having 86% pass accuracy and four key passes.

The midfielder received a standing ovation as he was replaced by Bradley Dack in added time, of which journalist Phil Smith claimed was ‘thoroughly deserved’.

The Sunderland Echo journalist was one of many to applaud Pritchard, taking to X to write ‘what a footballer’ when he was substituted.

He went onto praise him even more in his player ratings, giving the former Huddersfield Town man a nine, with the caption: “Pressed from the front, knew when to drop in, and delivered a sequence of wicked set pieces that should have been converted.

“Landed his assist eventually with a deft header. His standing ovation was thoroughly deserved.”

How good is Alex Pritchard?!

Alex Pritchard now has the most assists in the Sunderland squad (5) and has also created the most big chances (6). He also makes the third-most key passes per game (1.6) – behind only Jack Clarke and Patrick Roberts.

Sunderland v Huddersfield Town - Sky Bet Championship
Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

All this comes despite Pritchard starting only five games in the Championship, while he wasn’t even brought on at all during last month’s fixtures against Plymouth Argyle and Birmingham City.

The 30-year-old is absolutely brilliant and there is no doubt that the fans will be extremely angry if we don’t extend his contract. While there is no guarantee that the next manager will like him, there is no denying that he is a very important asset to have at our disposal.

Adil Aouchiche has looked a very exciting player since he arrived in the summer, but he will have to do a lot to displace Pritchard now. The Frenchman had his chance in the first team and didn’t take it, now his veteran teammate will do everything he can to keep his spot in the line-up.

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