Pools track Sunderland winger Craig Lynch

Neale Cooper on the touchline during the 1-1 draw with Whitby. Picture by FRANK REID

Neale Cooper on the touchline during the 1-1 draw with Whitby. Picture by FRANK REID

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SUNDERLAND forward Craig Lynch is on the radar of Hartlepool United.

The 20-year-old – who can operate as either a winger or a striker – will be allowed to leave the Stadium of Light when the emergency loan window opens this weekend.

And, with Pools boss Neale Cooper in the market for attacking reinforcements, Lynch could fit the bill.

Also still interesting the Scot is Black Cats striker Ryan Noble, who enjoyed a nine-game stay at Victoria Park towards the back end of last season.

Sunderland manager Martin O’Neill is looking at the numerous requests he has had for young players on the fringe of his squad.

He has stressed before that he wants to have strength in depth and has gone some way to addressing that with the quality of the signings he has brought in.

But he has the comfort of knowing that if an injury or suspension crisis does emerge, anyone sent out on emergency loan can be recalled any time after the first 28 days of the loan has elapsed.

“When the transfer window was still open, the most important aspect for me was what players we had available and to make sure that we were covered,” O’Neill admitted.

“But now the emergency loan window is getting ready to open this weekend, I’ll look at other things.

“There is the possibility that maybe some players will go out on loan.

“The key thing there is that they would be going on emergency loans, which means they could be called back after 28 days if necessary.

“I don’t mind allowing players to leave on emergency loans because they will be getting games and - providing we can survive the first 28 days - if we pick up injury problems, we can recall them.”

There are plenty of players who will come into the reckoning for moves.

At the top end of the scale he will ponder over whether to allow £8m teenager Connor Wickham out on loan, as well as 21-year-old South Korea international Ji Dong-Won.

But the likes of Lynch and Noble could well be making the short journey down the A19 to The Vic.

Others who will want to get out and prove themselves are centre-halves Louis Laing and John Egan, and midfielders Billy Knott, Roarie Deacon and Pools-born Adam Reed.

Last season, Laing was on loan at Wycombe Wanderers, Egan at Crystal Palace and Sheffield United while Reed played at Bradford City and Brentford.

All the youngsters have something to prove – either in showing they deserve a first-team squad chance at Sunderland, or proving they could go on to do a good job for another club.