Two clubs in Intense Battle For 24-Year-Old  Hartlepool United Man

Championship club Sunderland are among several EFL clubs vying to sign Gateshead defender Kenton Richardson this summer following his impressive performances for the non-league side.

Joining the Black Cats in pursuit of the soon-to-be out-of-contract player are Derby County, Oxford United, Notts County, Peterborough United, and Barnsley.

The 24-year-old started his career at Hartlepool United and moved to Sunderland as a youth player in 2020. After loan spells at Kenton Richardson and Spennymoor Town, Richardson joined Gateshead on a free transfer in 2022.

Despite making only three appearances for Sunderland, all in the EFL Trophy group stage in 2021, Richardson could potentially return to his former club. League Two side Notts County, where he had a brief loan stint, have also shown interest in signing him.

Richardson leaves Gateshead after making 68 appearances and scoring three goals. He was part of the team that won the FA Trophy at Wembley, defeating Solihull Moors in the final. However, despite finishing the season in a playoff spot, Gateshead could not compete in the playoffs due to EFL stadium regulations.

Where next?

For Kenton Richardson, the decision ahead may hinge on his priorities. He faces offers from across the football league spectrum, promising various levels of playing time and financial rewards. A return to his hometown club, Sunderland, offers familiarity but no guarantee of immediate first-team action, potentially involving further loan spells. On the other hand, Championship opportunities present themselves, suggesting he might consider himself above League Two status.

Peterborough United stands out as a potential ideal fit for him. Known for their track record in nurturing non-league talent, they currently occupy a League One position, which blends competitive football with opportunities for progression. Their approach to accommodating players transitioning to the next level could make them the most appealing choice for Richardson.

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