Alex Neil’s abrupt departure threatens to send Sunderland back into crisis | Barry Glendenning

Just as the Netflix cameras return to the Championship club, the manager who got them there has departed for Stoke CityA penny for the thoughts of Jewison Bennette last Friday morning. Almost certainly still jet-lagged following his 8,600km journey from Costa Rica to the north-east of England, the 18-year-old winger arrived at the Academy of Light training ground to meet his new teammates having signed a four-year contract to play for Sunderland the previous day. “When you see the Stadium of Light and this huge fanbase, it gives you more desire to work hard day-to-day and give your all,” he said after signing his contract.Bennette’s new manager could scarcely have been more effusive in his praise of a player who became the youngest footballer to represent Costa Rica when he came on as a substitute against El Salvador a year ago, but he preached caution. “We need to be patient and allow him time to acclimatise to a new country and learn the language,” said Alex Neil. “He is certainly one for the future.”

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