'Still got a lot to learn': What Hartlepool United fans need to know about Luke Molyneux's time at Sunderland under Elliott Dickman, Jack Ross & Chris Coleman
Sunderland academy product Luke Molyneux joined Hartlepool United just a week after confirming his departure from Wearside.
Molyneux revealed he would leave the Stadium of Light this summer when his contract expired - and the news was confirmed when the club published its retained list.
The 21-year-old attacker spent a successful loan spell at Pools last season, scoring twice in 16 appearances and exciting fans with his direct style and ability to beat his man.
But how has the winger fared in his career up until now?
Whilst at Sunderland, Molyneux made only six appearances for the Black Cats first team.
Unsurprising, really, given the wealth of attacking options the Wearside club have had at their disposal - most notably Aiden McGeady and Chris Maguire alongside youngers Joel Asoro and Josh Maja in recent times.
Due to good form, however - four goals in three games for the U21s - there were calls for Molyneux to be given a sustained chance in the first-team by former manager Chris Coleman as a last throw of the dice towards Championship survival in the 2017/18 season.
The opportunity didn’t materialise though, and the young prospect had to make do with a smattering of bit-part appearances.
His last minutes for Sunderland came under Jack Ross in the EFL Trophy against Newcastle United’s U21s at the Stadium of Light, Molyneux replaced Charlie Wyke on 77 minutes with the home side 2-0 up.
The late substitution perhaps hinting that despite his obvious potential, Ross believed Molyneux wasn’t ready for a sustained run in Sunderland’s first team
Indeed, the Bishop Auckland-born player’s former youth coach at Sunderland, Elliott Dickman, explained last year that Molyneux’s group ‘still had a lot to learn’ and had ‘a lot of developing to do.’
But what better place to do it than at Hartlepool where he will get vital game time and help Pools kick on in the National League? Poolies have themselves a raw, exciting prospect who is hungry to develop.
And Molyneux has already adapted to the tough non-league surroundings with a tough loan stint at Gateshead.